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Friday, July 12, 2013

forgiving

The End.  I stared at the bold type print I was holding.  Thoughts flooding me,  challenging me on my very own hopes and desires.  I had just finished reading my fifth romance novel of the summer.  Much to my surprise I was beginning to be hooked.   This one was a western romance,  taking place in Deadwood, South Dakota during the gold rush boom, back in 1876.  A town I had visited almost 9 years ago with my sons, on what was to be a family journey  out west.  A trip whose plans  began while I was still very much married.  A family trip that I had at onetime envisioned would draw me and my now ex-husband closer together.  A vacation, that instead, and in many ways, marked the beginning of my, life as a single mother.

Deadwood, S.D. a tourist town now that draws crowds by the thousand each summer.  A place that  I simply  fell in love with many years ago  and hope to revisit again someday.  A colorful town boasting with the flavor of the west.  I sat back still holding my book.  Wanting to savor the feelings its paragraphs had stirred in me.  Puling myself back in thought to a time in this world that brought the strong characters of this romantic story to life.  Imagining the headstrong men and women of this place living and loving.  Creating a life in a rough and tumble western town, just at the beginnings of its birth.

With my eyes closed I tried to envision main street coming alive.  Cowboys as they casually rode into town tipping their stetsons out of courtesy as they passed by females.   The town women nodding in response as  polite etiquette. Couples happily strolling along arm in arm.   I smiled to myself, yes like it or not  I was hooked on these romance stories, dreaming and fantasizing as I read each one.  As a realist this is a very hard thing  for me to admit and accept.  I was becoming a full bloomed romantic.  Starry eyed at the idea of finding my self lost in the silly romantic notions of being swept away by love.     

I closed the book and studied its cover.  No beautiful saloon girl or handsome rugged cowboy donned the front cover.  No lump of gold or stage coach pictured,  to give way of the journey that laid ahead in its over 400 hundred typed pages.  The title simply put, "Forgiving" was scrolled out in large deep rose colored letters. I was dawdling in after thought.  Love in its many vast ways had etched it way in my mind leaving  me dreaming.

I sat thinking,  what next.  Do I engage in yet another novel. Loose myself to yet another untamed heart of a character, doomed to embark on a journey exploding with deep emotion. Surely I needed to lay to rest for one day these sordid love affairs I have been so drawn into reading about lately.  A walk seemed a perfect answer to help me ease away from my new addiction. Not to mention a delight for my beautiful dog Bela to part take in. I chuckled as I attached her new flashing night time leash to her collar.  Thinking about my writing class experience last fall, when my instructor told me to stop fighting the fact that I was a romantic.  "Surrender and stop hiding" she told me during  class one day, " and those stories locked inside will flow".  I was a bit bothered hearing those words at first.  Unconditional Love as a mother I new about, with no end to the words that illustrates my motherly passions.  But love between a couple- ooh that's a tough one. I openly admit I still struggle with putting on paper.  With a past full of dating disappointments and short lived romances what could I possibly write.  Feeling somewhat -in  all  honesty-that  a captive heart for me would seem rather miraculous at this point, but not entirely impossible-after all I am a newly proclaimed romantic. I will somberly admit to those of you who might read this and  clearly spell out "I have known love",  but there is a profound connection to the heart I deeply desire.   As a  parent of two terminally ill sons my journey will be met with great sorrow few will ever understand or be equipped to endure. Leaving me deeply guarded with my heartfelt emotions.

So here I was now completely absorbed into reading about the desires of the heart. But, still struggling with the ability to write anything that remotely mentions falling in love. With a child free night to myself, and no plans  I was at home alone with my romance books.  I looked down at the book again where I had laid it to rest.  Its simple cover holding me captive momentarily.  The single word title triggering something in me to examine a little of my own soul.  Could it be that some of  my past actually made me  feel connected to the characters I recently read about.  I was beginning to understand why I found them so appealing.   Much more to my surprise I noticed something else.  These characters not only ardently desired love, but also were in great need of something more, healing. It can be very enlightening and   amazing when you can make a connection so deeply.    Healing.  Yes as much I tried to hide it I was still in need of some healing.   Even after all these years I still was in need of a little mending, which is not so easy to admit, because, that might just make me be a bit vulnerable.  Secondly, because I have become so engrossed in moving on and finding the courage to face my sorrow to come, I have not paid much attention to what the past  had been lacking for me in the first place.  So here it was simply laid down before me "Forgiving".  In order to continue with healing  I had to forgive.  But forgiving just who was the question?  No sooner had I read the word again and  it hit me, like a burst of sunlight. The one person I struggled with the most  was in fact me.  It is me that stands like an un-open window between my past and the present.  I  would need to  forgive myself to continue to heal.

 I have a very strong feeling I will  connect with  someone  who will in fact be touched by what I am writing about and  will  totally understand the depths of the healing I refer too.   

Friday, July 5, 2013

no grass just fireworks

I stared at the photo in front of me.  The smiling faces captivating me, flooding me with thought.   I imagined the echoing sound of the water fall behind them cascading down.  The cool water slapping hard against the steep rocky incline as it wildly falls against it. Its cool spray reducing the feel of the rising July temperatures. I knew this place where they stood.  I had frequented it before with my own eldest child.  I smiled almost able to smell the wet earth as I recalled a few of my own memories. This was a place I had at one time visited also with my two youngest sons .  A place we ventured out as a family.  A time in their lives when they could freely walk along. Occasionally stopping to skip stones across the flowing water.   Slowly at this   moment now, I somehow began to sense another feeling grasping at me.  A yearning calling me.  I was happy for  my friend with the day she was obviously sharing with  two of her  children. But I also felt saddened that this was  something I had learnt to  accept  was now  in our past. That walking along the banks of that  very same stream, had become just a wonderful sweet precious memory for us.  A little disturbed that I had let this photo pull me down,  I decided to scan a few other photos that other friends had openly displayed on line.  Why I wondered was it,  moments like this that left me  hoping, and  wanting to have just  a bit more of something.  I had undoubtedly created a world that was full of adventure for my boys.  But it did not come with out great sacrifice.  To pull it it all together it also took compromising, careful planning and much recruiting of outside help for them. I tried to imagine what it might be like to wake up and at the spur of the moment   take off with my sons on a days outing.  What it might feel like to not have to worry about steps and bathroom accommodations. What it might be like to not have to rely on a helping hand, and  chairs with wheels. To have one time where I did not have to worry about accessibility. 
 
   I hated the the feeling that was now attempting to creep inside me.   I felt even a bit disgusted knowing what it was.  Yes,  I knew, deep down inside.  Masked by a  bit of anxiety,   it was envy.  I envied what I  imagined  how my friends  Fourth of July was being spent.   A day spent walking with her teenage daughters, laughing while they hiked along together. Dipping their toes in the cool water.  While they spent endless hours enjoying the outdoors, I spent hours inside getting my two sons up and out of bed.  Dressing them and feeding them.  Finding activities  to keep them engaged just so I could hop in the shower and get dressed myself.  Actually it wasn't even  the fact it was a Holiday and that I had no accessible plans for us,  it was simply the fact that like very other day if I didn't go the distance with preparations" it" didn't happen.  With out " It" - it meant my boys would be sitting bound to a chair settling for a life of watching the world go by rather than living it. 

I went back to the photo after my search to see what else was happening in the online world. We had been invited to view fireworks from a friends apartment.  Her offer was tempting but Cody's miner upset stomach had left me feeling uneasy about leaving home,  along with the anxiety of transporting them alone late at night.  So for this night the best that I could offer was  ourselves at home and enjoying  time alone  together.   Time spent with just me and my two younger sons, in our comfortable accessible environment.  Engaged in activities that could be enjoyed from a wheelchair. 

Not to long ago someone said to me when you peek over the fence the grass always looks greener. Yep we have all heard it.   Well I do not want my friends grass.  I do not even care is she has a garden.  Actually I find grass a burden in my life,  the less of it would be better.  A paved path would suit me and my two younger sons much better.  Because then the  terrain would be  just be a bit easier for our wheelchairs to travel over.   Josiah would have loved  to view fireworks on a live location, such a small request. But he  has, with out complaint, settled to watch them on his ipad-  due to our current minor difficulties.  Because of great guilt on my failure to not strategically plan  ahead, I have in return promised him we would watch the State Fairs fireworks live at the MN Fair.

 I don't know if my friend watched any   Fourth of July fireworks from the  beautiful location she was at earlier.  I imagined she  no doubt had a wonderful afternoon planned outdoors with family and friends.  But at the risk of being human, it was  just a moments  yearning to want just a bit more, as selfish as that might sound to some-  with out all the hurdles,  searching, planning and laboring help for it.