Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Only Choice

It's hard to breathe
Hard to know
Almost impossible to imagine.

There is danger here
In the unknown
Trust becomes all you have.

Your heart collides
With yesterday
Afraid of forward motion

Yet in the dark
The light of hope
Becomes so very bright.

I cannot know
I cannot dream
I cannot allow these feelings.

And yet they come
They call to me
Reminding me to listen.

Oh so sweet
Oh so soft
Love comes whispering to me.

My heart is open
Even if broken
It pulls me ever closer.

This flame of hope
And hopeless need
War with burning passion.

This dream I dream
So lit with truth
Pushes back my terror.

It's in your eyes
So stark and real
I see my deepest longing.

To know at last
What love can do
When freed from expectation.

It's not with haste
But urgently
My heart cries out for healing.

And yours responds
With measured words
My only choice - to listen.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Where Love Lives

To say I have been going through a crisis in my life is probably an understatement. I don't think I have ever battled fear as I do right now, except for after my mother died. It is so overwhelming and heavy.

And my faith has been shaken. Not a gentle shake provided to wake you from peaceful slumber. I'm talking earthquake, ripping up roads and destroying villages kind of shaken up.

I have an amazing family. I really do. There are more miles between us all than I have ever imagined. My son has decided we need to buy a huge piece of land and all live there together. I could see that.

I have found out over the last several months that people can be cruel. Even the people that you thought loved you. At some point they look at you in your struggle and decide you are no longer worth the effort, that you are now officially "lost" and as someone that is lost you are to be avoided. But, let me tell you a little secret.....

I may be struggling but I am still me.

Even when I have been found guilty in others eyes of whatever it is assumed I am doing, I am still Sheri.

I spoke to my brother yesterday on the phone. The cell service on my ride home is patchy at best so we ended up losing each other several times. I know there were things unsaid, things that he wanted to talk to me about to see where I am on my journey. But, we didn't get to.

I was in my car today and I felt such a longing for him. And, I will tell you why. Because, he loves me. He loves ME.

I sent him a message to tell him I loved him and to thank him for his love for me. He replied, "You know I do."

And, I asked him to help me pray for direction. I have been feeling lost today especially.

He replied, "I am," and I thanked him.

He said, "I wish you were all closer. It is good to have family near to help us with our equilibrium."

Oh, how I need that.

We talked further and he told me about his message for tonight. "Thankfully," he said, "we have hope."

Hope sounds good.

I have been many places, seen many things, and one thing I do know, without a doubt. I know where love lives.

There are many people in this world who may want to see me fail, many people who would never even notice if I did.

And then, there is my family. Wherever they are, love is there. And, I had such a keen longing to submerge myself in that love today, until it became a physical ache, a longing so overwhelming that I could not contain the tears, and I wept over my desire to be surrounded by their love today.

And, thankful they love me as they do. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Learning to Let Go

There are a lot of things that happen to us as we mature. We learn to see the things in life that are important and then we see the things that really are not important.

For instance, my children are important. I don't care that they are grown. They are important. And, they still are my reason. AND I would probably still punch someone's lights out for messing with my babies. The ones I love are the only ones I would fight over.

I also have learned that I cannot hold on to things that are not meant for me to hold on to.

I have been hurt and I have caused hurt. And I have learned to walk away when it's time to walk away.

I know I have said it before and it drones on and on. But with complete honesty I am just blown away by how grown ups act. Seriously.

I know that I was raised to behave with dignity. I was raised to act "like I had some sense."

I hear stories about things that people in my age bracket do and I just cannot comprehend it. What is wrong with people?

There is a video on YouTube that a man discretely took of his wife while she was in the throws of a tantrum I would have broken a paddle on my kid's behind for having. I have literally never seen a grown person act that way. All because he wanted to do some work around the house. Wow. 

I have had bad things happen, hurtful things. I have been angry and distraught. But, for crying out loud, I'm not going to act like a two year old having a temper tantrum. I don't understand what you gain by acting the fool.

When my husband and I split up I told him that no matter what has happened we have two kids and we have many events in our future. I told him I wished him the best and I would treat him and anyone he was with respectfully. (ok I may have unfairly used the term bimbo, but I was wrong) I mean there will be weddings and babies and futures and what would it profit anyone for me to act like a lunatic.

There were issues on both sides of my marriage. Neither of us was totally to blame. Now, I have an opportunity to teach my children how to carry themselves in the worst of circumstances. I will not run down their father because that is unfair to them. They didn't ask for their parents marriage to fall apart. And I won't subject them to more pain because I'm bitter.

Because really, I'm not bitter. Oh, yeah it was bad and a lot of things happened that I could have never imagined happening in my life.

I know no one reaches my age without some baggage. But, I have learned some baggage can be left behind. There is no room in my life to let myself be so overcome with bitterness that I become that two year old.

Hopefully, when I'm finished with the things of this world one of the ways my children and grandchildren can describe me will be dignified.

Silly, but dignified.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Voice in my Head

I was raised by an incredible southern mother. She wasn't the cliche southern mother. She was a balance of southern mannerisms and class that was recognizable in every region. 

I know I write a lot about my parents. Losing them has left such a void in me. This whole blogging process started to assist me in dealing with all of their health issues and now it helps me deal with the void. 

My mother was an amazing cook. One of my favorite things she made was corn bread. She tried to show me how she did it more than once. I never got it. But, hers will always be the standard I judge all other corn bread by. 

My dad was the voice of authority. My mom was the voice of reason. When something was going on I could call my dad and he would lay out how it needed to be handled. My mom would say,"How do you feel about that?"

Well, that's not all she would say. She could be very blunt.  When I called to let them know I was pregnant for the second time my dad was elated. My mom got on the phone and the first words out of her mouth were, "What did you do, screw up?" But since she named him and loved him beyond reason, it is safe to say she got over it. 

My mom would get "feelings" about things she didn't want us to do. My brother, who is the oldest, was hit with this first. And because something tragic happened during one of the times she had a "feeling" we were all reluctant to go against them. 

Last night I was talking to a friend about something they were going to have to do and I felt that clinching in my stomach. I asked them to be careful because I had a bad feeling. Of course, they reassured me all would be well and promised to let me know when they finished. 

Only they didn't. 

And, now they don't respond to my texts. 

Oh, something else about my mom. She had a habit of blowing things WAY out of proportion. 

Example: My sister hurt her arm years ago. My mom calls me and basically tells me my sister's arms (not arm) are useless and I need to get out there and help her! While my hysterical mom is explaining this my sister beeps in. I picture her in my head, being so brave, as my brother-in-law holds the phone to her ear, and I reassure her I am on my way to rescue her from her un-vacuumed carpet. I hang up and rush out there, distraught, wondering how my poor sister is going to cope. 

And, when I pull up she greets me at the door. Yeah, her ARM hurts, but she is moving it. 

So, I guess you see where I'm going here. My friend is probably busy or asleep because the task took all night. 

But, that voice in my head won't be silenced until I get the all clear. Peggy is in there and she is weaving all sorts of horrible outcomes. 

And if she were alive and I called her right now she would not reassure me. Oh, no. She would have me so worked up I would be leaving work and driving to their house. 

There was a fire in the woods at the end of our road when I was still on night shift. Somehow mama found out about it. I was dead asleep and the phone rang. I saw it was her so I thought I will call her when I get up since it was the middle of my night. 

We had one of those doorbells at that time that played all kinds of tunes. I was suddenly roused out of my sleep to "It's a Small World" playing over and over. 

I stumbled down the stairs and threw open the door to find my mom standing there. 

"You had better get up before your house burns down around you!!"

And with that statement she got in her car and drove off, leaving me to figure out what was going on. 

As a teenager she called me one day to tell me that a tornado had been spotted around the corner from our house and I needed to get in the closet. I slammed the phone down, grabbed my cat Tiger, and climbed in the hall closet. 

As soon as I shut the door, the phone started ringing. And ringing, and ringing. 

I finally left the safety of the closet and breathlessly yelled Hello into the insistent phone. 

It was mama. 

"Are you ok? You're not scared are you?"

"MOM! I was in the closet because of the tornado!!!" And I hung up and ran back to the safety of the closet. 

She also made me feel more loved than anyone ever has. And she believed in me. And she protected me because she knew how much losing her would affect me. 

She taught me the story of the Big Mouth  Frog. She dried my tears even when I was grown. The only times I ever saw her fighting mad was over her babies. 

And she still visits me in my dreams at night offering advise, showing her love, and reminding me why I was so incredibly blessed to have her as my mama. 

I sit here now, trying to tamp down the voice of doom, wishing I had never thought about her corn bread, and missing her with every fiber of my being. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Eviction Notice

I am firmly entrenched in middle age. In many ways I love who I am now because I have finally learned the value of not caring about what the world at large thinks. 

Over the years I have allowed a lot of unnecessary "things" in my life. One day I woke up and thought why am I letting this or that dictate who I am? And, then came the question of who I really am. 

Once I started asking myself the hard questions I realized that some of the "things" that had taken up residence in my life were hindering me from truly being happy. 

Look around you today. What do you see? Do you see yourself where you wanted to be at the age you are? If not, take inventory of your surroundings and see what has taken up residence in your life. 





Self hatred. 



Sometimes we decide that our ability to overcome our circumstances is not within our reach. We lose our value and we become trapped in circumstances we were meant to overcome. 

I have a sweet friend that I have watched this very thing happen to. Because of mistakes and bad decisions they have decided they deserve no better than what they have. So, they have become a horder of self doubt and self recrimination. They have surrounded themselves with circumstances and people they feel they somehow deserve. 

But, that isn't true. 

And, when I look into their eyes I see my own longing to break free from the things I allowed to box me in. 

There comes a time when we need to walk the halls of our own hearts and discard those things that have kept us from rising to where we are meant to be. 

We have to have the courage to say this is not where I want to spend my life. And we have to begin to pack up those things that are keeping us from moving forward and kick them to the curb. 

Is it easy? No.  

Do they just let it go when you decide to move them out?  Nope. 

Will you automatically have all your dreams come true? Absolutely not. 

But, when you decide to rise above your circumstances you have to also decide to fight for better circumstances. And, you have to know without a doubt you are worth the fight. 

So, to my sweet friend today. I know how hard you have struggled. And I know that when you decide to get the "hell" out of your life, hell is never happy. But, you are worth so much more than you have allowed yourself to realize or dream. 

I will be right here to help you box up those things that have boxed you in and I will be right there to bolt the door should they try to come back. 

You are valuable. You are worthy. And you are loved. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

If I Could Tell You....

As I lay here on this New Year's Day and realize very soon it will be 4 years since I last spoke to you, I think of so many things I would tell you if I could. 

There are so many times that I pull from the pieces of you both that are within me. So many times I hear your voices in my head and feel your love surround me. The missing doesn't go away. I still long for you both every minute of every day. 

So much has changed for me. So much has changed in me. And it would be so amazing to be able to be wrapped up in one of your hugs and hear you tell me you love me because you loved ME. You loved Sheri Lynn. And you did it without condition or limitation. 

I would love to tell you I'm happy. I am happy, Mama and Daddy. And I know you would be able to look in my eyes and see my heart and be happy with me. 

My babies are all grown up and the empty places you left in their lives still affect them. You left in them both a legacy of love that will never leave. So, in a wonderful way, you will never be gone from our lives. They never, ever doubted that their Granny and Papa loved them. And, it was such a powerful love they still feel it, as I do. 

So, here I am. Another year gone by without you. Another year closer to seeing you again. 

If I could tell you I would say this year is going to be really good, Mama and Daddy. Really good. I feel like big things are going to happen and I cannot wait. I will bring you with me to every victory and I will feel you with me in every defeat. Because I will never get past the love my life has been filled with. I will never get past the pride you felt for who I am in all my awkward goofiness. 

And, no matter how many years pass, I will always be your baby. Always. Thank you for your love that was so powerful that it transcend death. I miss you more than words.