O.M.A. – Other Mother Always

My ex-husband’s mother, Margie, passed away last month and her birthday was yesterday. I am still coming to terms with what that means to me personally and to those who knew her and loved her. She told me once that when someone new comes into your life, you don’t kick anyone out, you just make more room in your heart for them. That was the essence of who she was; loving, all-inclusive, funny, fiercely protective of her loved ones and generous to a fault. She was my rock when I felt I like the riptide of mental instability was pulling me under; she reminded me I was more than a diagnosis and she never gave up on me. She is one of the first people to give me a mirror that wasn’t shattered, distorted or warped; I could see the beauty, the promise, the goodness and the strength that she saw. For this and for too many other reasons to mention, I will carry her with me in my heart, speak her words of love and compassion, make room in my heart for those who need a safe harbor and I will continue to talk to her, sing to her and if I ever do get married again, I know she will be wearing her dancing shoes and dancing up a storm, as promised. Until we meet again.

Fate’s Saving Grace

There are those who go through Life blindly trudging their way through each day, with no direction or purpose in their stride, just trying to make it through until they can escape into the refuge of the night and the fantasy of sleep, only to rise again in the morning and repeat the monotony of another day. They seem to believe that this is their destiny, to accept what is offered to them, no matter how incomplete they may feel, for this is all that they deserve. They like themselves, but do not truly love the person they are; they do what is expected of them and never question what they are told. They exist, but do not enjoy or love the life that is theirs.

If Fate looks kindly upon these people and if they can keep their eyes and hearts open, someone will enter their life who will help them to realize that they are indeed a very special person; that they can realize their hopes and make their dreams a reality. This someone will not tell them what to do, but offer them a way to accomplish what they desire; or maybe by speaking to them, listening to their words, can help them help themselves. By being a different kind of mirror for them to see themselves through, without all the insecurities and faults they see; with a clearer reflection of who they really are.

To encounter a person such as this is a very rare find indeed and should be treasured for their talents and dedication. In a world that is mostly negative and cold, it is exceptionally refreshing to find someone who is positive and warm, genuine and caring and truly desires to help those who do not know how to help themselves.

Such a person may sound like a dream or a character from a child’s book of fairy tales but I have found a person who is all of this and more; she has helped me to realize that I was one of those people stumbling blindly through my days and has given me the praise, encouragement and wisdom that has enabled me to love myself enough to demand more from Life than what is offered, to realize that dreams can become realities and to know that nothing is impossible so long as you believe. I do believe.

 

Weddings Always Make Me Cry

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I was fortunate enough to be at the wedding of two truly amazing people yesterday. I have known the bride for years, as she is one of Devon’s core (Hard Core!) group of oldest, best friends. Her now-husband is an intelligent, quiet and thoughtful man who absolutely and whole heartedly loves her with every cell in his being. The feeling is mutual of course and though I know they have struggles, tough times, trying situations and all, I have every faith that they will grow old together, hold hands when they walk down the street, gaze into each other’s eyes like they are seeing them for the first time, every time. These two are hope for happiness, a shining example that True Love is alive and well, working its magic and giving glow to all those around them.

The wedding was a simple ceremony, but the collective love was so great, it created a wave that just flowed between each and every person there. It touched our hearts, tears of happiness and joy were shed, laughter rang out and strangers became friends; troubles forgotten for the time, just being in the world of these two wonderful people. This is the magic of love, that brings people together, wraps them in a powerful blanket stronger than steel, more valuable than gold. Like armor against a harsh world, their love is their power, their truth and their salvation. I know the challenges that Life can present are oftentimes enormous, but I believe that these two will meet whatever the encounter on the Road of Life with a strong faith in their love and the willingness to do whatever it takes to make it through it. It makes my heart happy to see a gorgeous, confident woman looking absolutely radiant in her wedding dress and remember the young teenager that I first met so many years ago. I never gave birth to a daughter, but I have many daughters of my heart and she is the first.

So, I raise my cup of coffee and wish for you again for all the happiness your hearts can hold, all the sunrises your eyes can see and as much laughter as your body can bear.

Cheers!

 

 

THE SPIRIT AND THE FLESH

“There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.”
― Mark Twain

I have written before about my adventures in dating, men and everything that comes with that whole endeavor. Since I quit drinking, I have been trying to re-set my moral compass and live a life that is based on truth and honesty. This seems like it would be pretty straightforward: just stay away from certain people (unhappily married men), places (bars, dating sites, back seats of cars) and things (alcohol mostly). I have been doing very well at staying away from the places and things, but the people – let’s just say I haven’t been as successful. Not to say that I am carrying on or having an affair with someone, but there are a few men that I cannot avoid and by necessity must interact with them. I can literally feel the desire coming off them in waves; they are almost angry in their desperation to be recognized, to be loved and to be heard. Not to say that their wives ignore them or don’t love them; they just have gotten comfortable with each other and no longer have that spark, that passion that was so prevalent in the early days of their relationship. Maybe that’s just the way things work when one has been married for so many years, but I digress…

I have been talking to this one guy off and on for quite some time and to say there is chemistry between us would be like saying the sun is slightly warm and a little bright. There is a crackling of energy when we get too close, there is an overwhelming urge to just grab him and kiss him until his lips fall off. It has nothing to do with intellect, reason or anything sane and/or logical; it’s simply a very primal part that is not concerned at all with cause and effect, morals or anything other than I WANT THAT. I have done a fairly good job of keeping that part of me heavily sedated and shut away from the front of my mind, but certain times, people and places make me realize I am fooling myself if I think I’m totally in control of it because I am most certainly NOT.

I believe that anytime we try to better ourselves, something (or someone) will come along and attempt to divert our course. It does not necessarily even have to be an outside source; it can just be our own thoughts. Those cognitive distortions I love so much. That voice in my head that tells me I’d better grab that guy because he’s probably the best I could hope for, as no sane guy would take on a relationship with me. Above all else, the voice that tells me that I am not worthy of love. Those thoughts and that voice have always led me down a dark path to a place of depression, shame and sadness. I know this!!! So why when it speaks, do I immediately believe it still?? Why can’t the positive messages I send myself have the intensity of the negative?

A Christian may say that Satan is trying to get me to lose faith; a psychiatrist might say that it’s due to my childhood; a good friend would say that it’s just a part of figuring out who we are and finding our own personal truths. I say it’s something much simpler – the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. I cannot deny the power of attraction, the pull of desire and the sweetness of stolen kisses, but I can certainly try. I know I have been and will continue to attempt to better myself, to control that part of me that is searching for instant gratification, validation and yes, even something as simple as the human touch. Whether I will be “successful” depends largely on what I discover about myself, about love and about what truths are revealed to me. What I do know is that I’m worthy of love, real love and if I have to wait another 20 years to find it, so be it. For now, I will just be aware that if I were to find myself alone with this guy, all of my best intentions would evaporate as soon as my lips touched his and there would be no turning back. For now, I will keep my distance and try to align my thoughts with my goals and my heart’s desire.