Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Place to Call Home

We are having a crisis at our house. It is like a magnitude 9 earthquake has come to South Georgia and we are feeling the aftershocks as I type.

One of the decisions Bobby and I made years ago was that we wanted our kids to have a "hometown" to call their own. 

You see, both of us had grown up "Newspaper Brats" which means, like Army Brats, we loaded up an moved every two or three years. This was what we were accustomed to. 

I can't speak for him, but one of the things that happened in my family because of this is WE became our home. What I mean is, wherever we were together, that was our home. Home wasn't so much identified with the walls that surrounded us, but by the love of the people within. 

I have put our house on the market. This was a hard decision that I truly have fought not to make. But, it is time. 

We have lived in this house for 15 years next month. This is by FAR the longest I have ever been in one residence. And, I love this little house. I loved it the first time I peeked in the front door. 

So many memories are there. My heart squeezes to think of the memories fading as the pictures in my mind grow dimmer. 

And, it hurts. 

But, it's just walls. 

I told my daughter last night I think we may have done them a disservice. I think in their minds home is a building. 

But, I say nay nay. Home is too big to be contained within walls made by man. 

Home is wherever we are together. Home is where someone who loves you no matter what you have or have not done waits with arms open. Home is where you feel wrapped up in unconditional love. 

Maybe it was I who was done a disservice. If I had thought of home as a building I would have long ago gotten over the loss. Home would for me now lies on Rocky Pond Rd. where the two people who loved me no matter what I did or didn't do lay in final rest. But, yet I can still feel home inside of me. 


To my precious, sweet children. My, how I love you both. You are the best of everything I have ever done. I am so proud of you. And I know this is hard because it is hard for me. But, know this and never doubt it. Wherever we are, wherever we are, that is home. Because home is a feeling, not an address. If we limit what we feel for each other to where we get our mail, we have placed boundaries on a love that knows no bounds. And, I learned from my own home that what we have cannot be contained. Not even the hands of death can take away your home when you carry it with you. I will always be with you. Always. Even when I'm gone. 

You can always, always come home. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

In the Absence of Hope

Once upon a time there was a little girl who had big dreams. 

And then, she grew up. 


Did you realize LIFE is a four letter word? Doesn't mean it always has bad connotations, but in life bad things can and do happen. 

As the Beatles so wisely sang all those years ago, "You may say I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one." Or, as Hamlet struggled with the question of whether with all the problems life was worth continuing or if facing the unknown of death were a better choice. "To sleep, perchance to dream."

We all are born with the ability to dream, to imagine how things could be, to long for circumstances, and to work toward those dreams becoming a reality. Everyone has the chance to at least see some of their dreams come to pass. And, this fulfillment of the hope of the dream causes us to dare to dream again. 

You may say I'm a dreamer. 

I don't think I would say I live with my head in the clouds. My feet are firmly planted on the ground, but I still dream. I still look ahead at all the possibilities and I still believe good things can and will come. 

I have had so many of my dreams dashed on the rocky shores of life. But, some have survived. Some have filled my life with joy and contentment. Some have brought me more happiness than I ever imagined possible. 


Contained within those mere four letters is power. And possibility. Hope. And despair. Joy. And grief. 


Every single day we rise with an armload of possibilities. We may spend each day in predictable sameness, or we may discover amazing moments every single day. 

Once upon a time there was a little girl who had big dreams. 

Dreams of love, happiness, stability, and warmth. 

And then, she grew up. 

And life happened. 

Standing on the rocky shores of life, gazing at the amass of dashed and broken dreams, she feels a heaviness in her heart. 

That heaviness is called hopelessness. 

It is a weight that will crush and destroy without a second thought. It takes and never gives back. It blocks the sunshine, banishes growth, and obliterates happiness. 

And, as I have lain awake looking into the darkness, searching for my dreams, it has visited me, taunting me with the memory of past dreams that met their death. 

And covering me with the suffocating knowledge of....LIFE

Life happens every day. It continues to happen even when yours is finished. 

And it continues to offer choices. And the chance to dream. 

So, I close my eyes today against the power of hopelessness, and behind my closed lids I see the light of promise. 

I refuse to stop. 

Once upon a time there was a not so young lady who had big dreams. 

And life happened. And dreams died. 

So she rose in the early dawn surrounded by the stench of their deaths and planted.....

She planted dreams on the shores of hopelessness. 

And on those rocky shores some of those planted dreams died before they ever had a chance to sprout. 

And yet, if she looks closely, she see buds springing forth. She sees dreams rising amongst the ruins of yesterday. 

And she smiles. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Heart Damage

There are few things more painful than a broken heart. When it is thoroughly broken, even when it gets put back together, it is never the same. 

And, you go along with this malformed heart, trying to function as you always have functioned before. 

One day, you look up and you think maybe you can trust the voice of your heart again because the voice sounds just as it always has. 

You do not hear the distortion because you are too familiar with the sound of its brokenness. 

You think, why not trust again? Why not listen? 

You listen in spite of the reasoning from you still functioning common sense and you don't hear the warning blow from your mind, don't see the safety gates go down. You barrel onto the tracks thinking you are on the way to those long ago stored dreams collecting dust on the rickety shelves of your damaged heart. 

Thinking all is safe you step right into the path of danger. 

When the heart is damaged repeatedly it may still function. It may beat and sustain life. But your quality of life may never be the same. 

At some point you need to look to other sources like a proverbial medication to slow any more possible damage, you need to follow the advice on prevention you have been provided and you need to take care. 

The damaged heart can not only slow you down, it affects every part of your body. 

The heart damaged by repeated blows will do no less. And as the scars add up how could you expect it to function? The feelings become seared and compassion wanes. 

And you wake up one day numb to the world around you and the pain you felt, the brokenness causing it to barely function.  

Today, it is my hope that I will remember the state I'm in and take care in the future to prevent any further damage. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The View from the Bottom

Have you ever really looked at people? Not at their beauty or their clothes, have you ever really LOOKED at someone? Looked in their face to gauge the pain that furrows their forehead. Stared into their eyes and into the murky shadows of uncertainty. Gazed at their mouth and the sadness that brackets lips that were made to smile.

Have you once today stopped to consider how someone else is holding it all together? Did you pay attention to the tightness in their voice, the stiffness in their gate, the lack of luster in their countenance?

I am going to take a gamble here and answer for you.

No, you did none of those things.

Because you had work today, or you had a day to do nothing, or you were off having fun, or you were busy with school work.....etc.

We have become a society of avoidance. We don't want to be confronted with something that may make us uncomfortable. We don't want to be confronted with it because if it is exposed to us by the bright lights of reality we may have to actually do something to help someone else in need.

So, today I am going to give you a dose of reality. I am going to force you to look into the mirror into your own eyes that have become empty and devoid of compassion. And, I am going to do that by asking you to read what follows as if it were happening to you.
I am out of options. I am seriously, totally out of options. Not because I have not looked for options, but because I literally have nothing left. I. Have. Nothing. Left.


My house, gone. My family, gone. I have no food. No where to sleep tonight. No hope of finding any place, because I have no one to turn to.

I will eat out of a dumpster tonight because if I don't, I won't eat. I will sleep wherever I can find a place to sleep. I will wake up tomorrow and nothing about my situation will have changed, so I will start the day over with no options, no hope.

And here, in this place, all those things that once seemed so vile seem like a means of survival. Because where I am, if I pay the price, it is not with money. It is with what I do have left.

It doesn't matter when you have nothing to lose. Nothing matters when nothing is all you have.
These are just words. There is no way to evoke that true sense of desperation until you are truly desperate.

And I have never been truly desperate. But, today I felt the depths of desperation from someone who landed face first on the bottom. And the feeling that gripped my heart was overwhelming and devastating. My heart literally broke. Tears fell, and turned to sobs and I felt for the first time in my life complete desperation.

I realized how far my head has been stuck in the sand. My problems are trivial and unimportant compared to someone facing the bottom of the bottom. And I swim around in this big pond full of other bottom feeders, looking for some dirt to suck up and spew out about other people and their circumstances when in reality our own black and selfish hearts are the cushion that breaks the fall when those we have dismissed and ignored hit the proverbial bottom.

By taking my eyes off my own worthless issues and looking into someones action before my reaction to the possibility of being exposed to their problems caused me to look away I FELT.

And, it hurt. It hurt so very bad. It hurt to know where this person went to escape desperation, and it hurt to know that they had reached that point and they were offered no refuge, no help from anyone who passed their way.

Back in the day, we cared about each other. Back in the day, we cared about more than ourselves.

This person will lay down tonight with hope. But, I am afraid there is no hope for this black-hearted generation that has encapsulated themselves in self preservation at the cost of compassion.

I'm not talking about those people who CHOOSE not to make any effort to better themselves or provide for their own needs, yet sit with their hands out saying, "Give me." That is another topic for another time.

I am talking about someone who has been kicked over and over and over and yet makes an effort to rise up and continue on over and over and over. Until one day they are just unable to get back up on their own.

So as you sit in your cozy house tonight with your belly full and your conscience seared, remember......

And, look. Really, really look.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I Am At A Loss For Words....

There is something very strange about being 46 years old and finding yourself in a place of extreme transition. This is the time of my life when I should be on cruise control, just enjoying the scenery.

Yet, here I am. My GPS is apparently broken, I can't find any road signs, and my headlights aren't working......

Well, I may be exaggerating just a bit. But, I do feel a bit, well, lost.

And, when I say **lost** I mean, in the sense that I am a planner, yet I have no idea what the plan is right now. It is a shame I feel the need to qualify my statements, but I don't want anyone to read this and say, "Well, lookie here Margie Jean. She is headed for the fire and brimstone, for sure!"

I am not talking about the condition of my soul. I am not talking about not waiting on God, or trusting in His plan, or allowing Him to direct my steps.

I am talking about me, plain and simple. I am talking about Sheri.

I have been seeking direction and asking for guidance. I can see the signs up ahead, but they are still just a little far for me to really read. So, I am just continuing forward.

I have my house on the market and I am now facing the prospect of moving. (OK, here is where I become just me. If you are looking for a really spiritual post, might I suggest you look back and read some of my earlier stuff. This is me rambling to see my ramblings)

I suddenly feel like I guess you would feel when you are planning to leave the security of Dad and Mom's house and venture out all alone. I feel scared and excited at the same time. MANY years ago (and I cannot emphasis MANY enough) I left the comfort of living with my parents and being the *baby* to being a wife. 14 months later I became a mom. And, these have been the rolls that have identified me.

Now, for the first time I have the possibility of being Sheri. And, since I feel like in many ways, I am just meeting myself for the first time, this should be very interesting and more that likely, very entertaining. I will always be who I have always been, but now I get to add a new roll to who I am.

I have made myself learn how to do many things that I had never done before. I told someone just this week that I wanted them to teach me everything they could about cars, because I didn't want to be stupid about them anymore. I have put furniture together, and repaired vacuum cleaners, and re-grouted the bathtub, and repaired the cabinets.

It has been exciting to learn that I can do a lot more than I ever gave myself credit for. And when it comes time to make decisions, I have found my research is more thorough, my decisions are more thought out, because I have only myself to rely on. There is no one to bounce things off of at times.

I don't have the cruise set anymore. Frankly, I may never use it again. But, I am still determined to enjoy the rest of the trip. I have hopes and dreams and plans and possibilities. I have the chance to prove to myself that I can make it. And, I have become an independent person, whether this was in my plan or not.

Over the last year I have cried more than I ever thought I would, and been so very lonely. But, I know this is all part of the process. Through this process I have found a strength I never thought I had.

I don't know what tomorrow may bring to me. And, there is so much inside of me that I would never have the words to get it all out. The only thing I can think to say to even begin to explain is.....