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Archive for the ‘My Journey’ Category

Trick or Treat

 

    As a little girl, I used to get so excited every October waiting for Halloween and planning and dreaming of who or what I wanted to be that year. Just the thought of being someone or something other than ME for one special night was intoxicating.  I would spend hours thinking about it and choosing and re-choosing. Usually, it was something mythical, like a fairy or a princess. Or someone with an exciting exotic life-like a gypsy who danced around a fire and traveled the world.  Or something with super powers that would give me magical abilities for one special night. Sometimes it combined all of these at once, not fitting into any one category other than from the vivid imagination of a child.  Always, it was something that possessed great beauty. It usually involved an elaborate costume with rainbow colors and lots of sparkles.

  I loved purple and pink above all colors. One year I went as a purple butterfly with a pink magic wand who could grant wishes and fly.   I wore curled ribbons in my hair that cascaded down my back and over my wings.  They swirled behind me in the night breeze as I raced from house to house trick-or-treating.  The wind whipped around me adding to my illusion of flying.  I was airborne and free floating on a breeze on my imaginary flight.  The night was truly magical as nights like that should be for little girls with big dreams and bigger imaginations.

  I am all grown up now and magical nights are a thing of the past.   Halloween is just another date on the calendar.  The little girl of my past has been left far behind.  Big dreams died and I haven’t left the ground in a very long time.  I no longer spend the weeks leading up to Halloween dreaming of being anyone else.  In fact, I haven’t even been me for way too long.  I would be hard pressed to tell you who “me” is anymore.  The “me” I used to be no longer exist.  The happy carefree girl who dreamed big has been replaced  by a hollowed out shell of a woman who carries too much sadness and bitterness to ever dream of purple butterflies or believe in fairy-tales and magic wands.

  If only I could for a second be someone else this Halloween.  I would choose to be that girl again.  The one full of life and dreams.  The one who sparkled and truly believed she had wings and could fly.  I would use my pink magic wand and I would grant the wishes of all the broken-hearted moms…doors would magically open and our children would be free.  We would all be airborne together in a flight of fantasy like no other.  Even the night-time stars would not be able to outshine our joy. 

  If only….

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Today, I bought a pumpkin. 

  That probley doesn’t sound like such a big deal to many people, after all, it’s that time of year.  For me, it is a very big deal.  A milestone, even.  In its own way…a triumphant return to the land of the living.  You see, the last time I bought a pumpkin was in October, 2007.    That year, my front yard was decorated for fall.  I was one of those annoying neighbors who decorated to the hilt for every single holiday, big or small.  Haybales and scarecrows and flower pots full of mums were scattered around the yard.  On my front porch step sat a huge, gorgeous orange pumpkin.  I carved my Jack-O-Lantern and proudly displayed it.  October had always been my favorite month.  Crisp, cool temps and bonfires and falling leaves.  I was celebrating the pure joy of living that year.  I had no idea how short-lived my joy was to be.

  October 28, 2007 everything for me changed.  The fall of that year began the descent of my own big fall and I have been falling ever since.  My wonderful son was arrested and I lost contact with reality.  I went into a big dark hole and covered my head.  I became the walking dead.  A shell-shocked woman full of pain and confusion.  My world had tilted on its axles and I could not make any sense of it. 

  Halloween came and went in a blur.  I vaguely remember lying in my darkened room with the curtains pulled tight ignoring the sounds of the trick-or-treaters outside while tears soaked my pillow. 

  Thanksgiving was the same.  There was no smells of turkey cooking, no family get-together.  Nothing to be thankful for.  The pumpkin Jack-o-lantern and the haybales of October remained standing.  A testimony to time having stopped in my household.

  Christmas was truly a nightmare.  While the rest of the world decorated and sang carols.  My house and soul remained dark.  The scarecrow had begun to sag and the haybales were dirty.  The mums gave up and died in their pots.  Jack was not faring so well.  The pumpkin had begun to rot on the front steps.  It felt fitting to leave it there for the world to see. 

  New Years was just a sad reminder of the passing of the worst year of my life and not much hope for bringing in a better one.  Not for a long time to come.  Snow fell that year.  Looking out the window, I could see the contrast of the bright white flakes covering the rotting corpse of the pumpkin.  As if Mother Nature herself was determined to cover up this atrocity on my lawn.  I was just as determined for it to remain, for the world to witness my pain.  Jack was dead and so was I.

  My house remained locked tight against the world.  No one came calling.  A grief like this doesn’t have a protocol.  No one brings home cooked dishes or sends sympathy cards.  You are suddenly a pariah in polite society. 

  February brought Valentines Day.  I vividly remember creaking open the front door to let some light fall into my darkness.  It was the day for love but I couldn’t feel it.  Couldn’t feel anything.  I sat on the front porch and stared at what was left of my pumpkin jack-o-lantern.   Dried orange pumpkin guts stained the steps.  Jack was no longer recognizable as having ever been a pumpkin.  I could relate.  I no longer recognized my own self when I gazed into the mirror.

  Holidays came and went and were ignored over the coming years.  My son was sentenced to 20 years in prison.  Life was just something to get through.  It was an ordeal just to make myself breathe.  The house was sold and all the belongings with it.  All the beautiful holiday decorations that I had collected were sold, thrown out or given to anyone who would haul them away.  The house was left vacant and empty with just a hint of an orange stain on the front steps.  A hint of a memory of a beautiful Jack-O-Lantern and a girl who once celebrated the joy of life in October.

  I live in a new place now.  Much smaller but in a simple, good kind of way.  October came this year and I felt a stirring inside me.  I passed by the pumpkin fields bursting with life and bright orange fruit.  I went to turn my face away as I had done every year since my rotted Jack days.  I heard the quietest whisper in my heart.  Just a small voice beckoning to me….”turn around”.    I could have kept driving, maybe I should have, but life has a way of going on, even when you can’t.  I didn’t let myself think, just turned around and got out.  Families walked through the rows of pumpkins, children laughed beside their parents.  I silently walked alone to the one who reminded me the most of my beautiful Jack of long ago.  I placed my hand on it, feeling the warmth the sun had left and I closed my eyes and let it infuse its warmth into the cold I had been carrying for too long.  I whispered a silent apology to my old friend rotted Jack as I let myself embrace a new one. 

Tears coursed down my cheeks as I said, “yes, I’ll take this one”.

  Today, I bought a pumpkin.

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The Shame Game

 

  If you have walked a mile in my shoes then you are sadly familiar with the Shame Game.  You know how it’s played.  Your Loved One Is A Monster.  No One In My Family Would Ever Do Something That Horrible.  Some will outright say it.  Some will cleverly try to hide it, like the Shell Game, under statements assuring you that YOU are acceptable, just not you loved one or their crime.  Some will clearly put out the NOT WELCOME here sign, some will let you walk on in…but please sit quietly in the back and don’t draw attention to yourself, kinda like the red-headed step-child of the family. Some will direct you to a place more suited for “your kind.” 

  Then there are the blessed few who will actually reach out to you In Public “gasp” and pull you in, all the while shooting “shame on you’s” at those others who didn’t, or wouldn’t, or couldn’t.  Those are the ones I choose to associate with.  Those are the ones who I strive to be like.  They operate from a place of love and compassion and kindness for all.  We could all learn so much from those blessed few.

I can’t judge any of you. I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is high time that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in.
Charles Manson

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Abyss in my soul

throw roses into the abyss and say: here is my thanks to the monster who didnt succeed in swallowing me alive.

-nietzsche

a·byss

 

–noun

1.

a deep, immeasurable space, gulf, or cavity; vast chasm.
2.

anything profound, unfathomable, or infinite: the abyss of time.
 
  My thoughts today turn to my own Abyss.  Profound and unfathomable.  Vast chasm.  Immeasurable.  It all applies.  Like a crater opening up in your life and leaving this big hole.  This Abyss.  That is what having a son in prison feels like. 
  And yet, the statement, throw roses and give thanks to the monster who didn’t succeed in swallowing me alive…that also applies. 
  By God, I am still standing.  Like a phoenix rising from the ashes I am crawling out of this Abyss. 
I am alive….
and I am pissed.
 
Rolling in the Deep
There’s a fire starting in my heart,
Reaching a fever pitch and it’s bringing  me out the dark,
Finally, I can see you crystal clear,
Go ahead and sell me out and a I’ll lay your ship bare,
See how I’ll leave with every piece of you,
Don’t underestimate the things that I will do,
 
 
 


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Hello world!

 I am a Mom who has walked a long and hard road.  My son was a Police Officer, Fireman, First Responder and now is a Federal Prisoner serving 20 years for viewing computer images.  Yes, I said 20 YEARS for VIEWING computer images.  This is about the time that most say “why was he looking at them in the first place?”  and this is about the time I say…”why does anyone do anything??”  Haven’t we all LOOKED at something we shouldn’t?  I have.  In the age of computers when it is all right at your fingertips and when a pop-up is liable to…well POP UP…you can’t help but VIEW it.  But, the question to ask is should YOU be locked away in prison for 20 years, your life ruined, your family destroyed for what you LOOKED at?  And then factor in the FACT the cases where an actual crime of touching or abuse or even rape accured, the sentence can be far less than the sentences for VIEWING images.

  As long as my son is behind bars, I will grieve in my heart for him and for every single mom walking this road and I will fight to change minds, hearts and laws and restore justice and fairness.

  The most important thing I can say to any mom out there is be very careful not to jump to judgement or conclusions here.  This could happen to any one of you at any moment.  It happened to me and I never saw it coming.  I was blindsided and devastated.  Today, my eyes are wide open but my heart remains devastated.

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