Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Best In People

Seeing the best in people. It's a wonderful trait. To see what makes even the worst of us, good. In any little way. To see that small glimmer of greatness in even the darkest of souls. It's a trait that many should strive to have. Because there is something good in all of us. It's just that sometimes, it takes a very special person to see it. 

And while I do think that I have this trait to a certain extent, I know I have the opposite. I see the bad. Because just like we all have goodness in us, we all have some not so nice things too. And I am usually very good at seeing these dark spots. Even sometimes when the person doesn't even know they have them. My gut doesn't lie. Maybe it's because I saw so much dark so early in life? Maybe because I'm so familiar with my own ugliness? Whatever the reason, I'm glad I have this ability. Sometimes it's not a great feeling to almost immediately sense someones worst quality. Or to everyday see the blemish in the heart of someone you love. But still, I'm grateful. Because, I see you. I see your dirt. Your ugliness. 

I. See. You. All of you. The good and the bad. And you know what? I love you anyways. Because I choose to love you. I might not always like you but I promise to always love you. We don't have to be perfect to be a good person. We all have secrets we'd never want the world to see. We all have something about us that we want to stay hidden away forever. And that's okay. As long as we are striving to be better. As long as we don't ever give into that darkness. As long as we keep striving for the light! But in the meantime, I love you. All of you. Even if you can't love yourself right now. Even if I don't love myself right now. I love you. In all of your light. And in all of your dark. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Encounter

I've always wondered how I'd react if I were to ever come face to face with him. We live within 30 minutes of each other. It's a small community. I know it's bound to happen eventually. In the last decade or so I've gone over every possibility. Scenarios where I leave him crying in a ball of shame. Where I slap him. When I do worse than slap him... Where I just run away. Where I let him know that I am not afraid of him and that even though he tried, he didn't break me. Where I tell him that I have forgiven him... Scenario after scenario of all the ways I would handle it. And in one breath, I realized that all of those possibilities were wrong. The moment I looked up from picking out a new mascara and saw the man at the end of the aisle, I froze. In that split second a thousand thoughts went through my head. I knew almost instantly it wasn't really him but that he just looked strikingly similar. But although my mind knew it, my body did not. My breath caught and I broke out in a cold sweat while my eyes instantly filled with tears. The first thoughts I can remember clearly thinking were that my kids were safe at home and that Nick was right in the other aisle and wouldn't let anything happen to me. Then the shame set in. Shame that I froze. Shame that I didn't think of protecting myself on my own but that my husband would have to save me. Shame that I reacted like I was a scared little 4 year old girl again wanting to run from the bogeyman but knowing there was no where to hide. After what seemed like minutes but really only took seconds, the man walked away and I closed my eyes and tried to collect myself. Eventually I walked away myself and found Nick waiting on me. I smiled at him and we continued shopping. I have no idea what we spoke about for the next 30 minutes or so but I know I was trying desperately to keep it together. And finally after leaving the store and I was safe in the truck next to Nick, I told him what had happened and while telling him I teared up again and broke out in goose bumps. Even though I knew that it wasn't even really him. Again, my body refused to believe I was out of danger. I find it so hard to fathom that something that happened so long ago, can still physically and mentally hurt me. But it does. And probably always will. Through all the counseling and tears, I've learned that it's okay that it still hurts. That it's normal to still be scared. But sometimes, I really hate it. And him. I hate what he took from me. What he did. The pain and fear and self loathing that was given to me at such a young age. I do, I really hate him sometimes. Which I don't want to do. I don't want him to have that much power over me still. I don't want to have a panic attack in the middle of the grocery store. I don't want to be constantly on guard. I don't want the nightmares that torture me. It's not fair. It's not fair my husband has to worry because I haven't spoken more than a few words in days and he knows there's nothing he can do. Or that I'm short with my children because my mind is in a panic. It's just not fair. And most of the time, I'm okay. But sometimes, when my guard is down, I have to face the ugliness again. And those around me who love me do too. And I guess, that's okay. I have to remember that I am loved and that others don't mind sharing my burden. That Nick will gladly take every cold shoulder and silent day if it means I cry even one less tear. That my kids will love me no matter what, even if I yell at them to clean their room instead of just telling them they need to clean up. I still hate that I sometimes crack. And I will one day learn to embrace those cracks and be grateful for everything they've taught me. Just maybe not today...and that's okay too.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11; 15 Years

15 years ago I was helping take care of a sweet older lady named Helen. I arrived a little early for my day shift to find Helen and one of her other caretakers in tears watching the television. It took me a moment to understand what I was seeing. No sooner had I sat down and started tearing up myself, we watched the second plane fly into the second tower. I remember vividly the small scream that escaped from Helen followed by heavy sobbing. I and the other caretaker sat there in stunned silence. We all three knew then that this was not just a tragedy but an actual attack.  For myself, it was the first time I'd really ever thought about an attack on our own soil. For Helen, it was a grisly reminder of her younger days listening to the news about Pearl Harbor being attacked. We as Americans have a sense of safety that few other countries in the world have. We feel a certain invincibility because we've heard our entire lives that we are the greatest country in the world. So when something happens it's a very rude awakening. And we ban together. We fly our flags high and unite as one. Now, 15 years later we are back to not only feeling that sense of invincibility but now we have this strange cockiness. We haven't just lowered our flags, we are burning them. We've divided over issues that while they are very much real, are not what defines us. Instead of working together to overcome our problems like we did so strongly after 9/11, we point fingers and fight between ourselves. We blame the other person and refuse to even attempt to see the others viewpoint. We have a problem and instead of working together to fix it, we expect the other person to give in to our demands. We have to stop. We have to remember that we are all neighbors. That we are blessed to be in a country that while has its faults and still needs a lot of work, is still one of the greatest in the world. Our problems exist. They are real. But what we are doing now is not how the problems are going to be fixed. Until we start working together, we are just going to create more problems. We should never forget who we are. The lives that have been lost and sacrificed so that we have the right to disagree. And above all, we must remember that every day is a gift. That tomorrow isn't promised. So we should say I love you often. Hug your kids every chance you get. Call your grandma. Kiss your spouse. Because we are all just one breath away from never having that chance again in this world. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Have You Ever?

Have you ever looked at a strangers face and wondered if you had the same nose? Or eyebrows? Eyes, dimples, jawline? 
Have you ever stalked pictures of someone's kids on Facebook to see if you could see any sort of resemblance to yourself? Or tried to see your own children's smiles in their smiles? And when you see a slight similarity, do you doubt yourself and tell yourself it's just wish full thinking? 
Have you ever imagined a reunion full of happy tears and of being hugged so tightly, the missing pieces inside you get filled so completely you can't breathe? Have you ever imagined a reunion full of resentment and disappointment and being turned away from the one person you have spent your entire life hanging your hopes and dreams on?
Have you ever played the What If game so many times you have an entire lifetime of pretend memories made up and locked in a box deep down in your soul that you take out once in awhile and dust off just to cry over them again?
Have you ever wished for something so hard with your entire being but been too afraid of rejection or another dead-end that you just give up? That you just tell yourself it will never happen so why bother? But even while telling yourself to get over it, you know you never will stop hoping for a miracle.
Have you ever had to forgive someone who doesn't even know you exist? Have you ever had to forgive a loved one for actions and mistakes made before you were even born?
Have you ever? No? Good! You should get down on your knees and thank God for that. Because it's a special kind of hell on earth and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

David Glowczewski

A little over a year ago I posted about my friend Matt, my friend Jennifer's baby brother. His death was the worst thing that had ever happened to his family and something that no pain could ever match. But I was so very wrong. Because less then two years later I once again had to hold my best friend in my arms and try to find words to comfort her as she laid to rest her oldest brother. And the words have failed me all week. All there has been is tears. Tears for my friend David. For his sister's Jennifer and Tara. His parents Larry Joe and Fran. His beloved wife Debbie and their 6 children. Tears because I can't understand the pain of losing a child or one of my siblings. And I can't even begin to imagine the pain of losing two. Or of losing my husband. But for whatever reason, He called them both home early. It's not something I can understand. And will probably never understand while still on this earth. But we know that one day all will be made clear to us. But in the meantime, we're hurt. We're angry. We feel forsaken. Betrayed by a God that we trust and love. And that's okay. He can handle our anger. He's got mighty shoulders and can take our tears. In fact, He wants to comfort us and will one day wipe our every tear. We just have to hold on. And have faith.
And as Tay said today, we should remember David with a smile and a laugh. Because that's what he would have wanted. He wouldn't want us to think of him and be sad. He'd want us to mourn for him, because that's how we heal. But then he'd want us to smile for him. To crack a joke and share a laugh. Cause he was full of love and laughter. And believed everyone else should be too. Some of my fondest memories are of hanging out with David. Whether it was going back and forth to Salem to pick up Kendra. Or babysitting Brad and Brit while David worked. Or more often than not, just hanging out at David's house cause me and Stubby were broke and her mom was mad at her so we couldn't beg for more gas money from her to cruise town :) And hanging with him was always one of my favorite things to do. It was like I had the surrogate big brother that I always wanted. And it was always fun, even if all we did was watch TV and talk and laugh. Plus he'd always give me a book or two that he had just finished reading and knew I'd like. :) He was just a great man. From a great family. And my heart hurts for all of you left behind. I love you all, more than you could possibly understand. You all gave me so much happiness and I will forever be grateful to you. For allowing me to be a part of your amazingly loving, funny, beautiful, sweet, caring, ornery, family. I can't make the pain go away for you, although I wish I could. I can't answer the why's. But I can assure you that as joyful as David was while with us, he is more happy and joyful than we can even begin to imagine right now. He and Bud are both celebrating their reunion and awaiting our arrivals. And want you to be happy. They wouldn't want you to be sad for too long. Because they are so very happy right now. And are watching over you. And let's be honest, probably making fun of all of you :) Please be happy again. Please don't let your joy go away. It would break their hearts. I know it will be hard. But they'll give you the strength you need to smile again. Even when you don't feel like it, smile. For them.