Posted in Memoir, quotes

Let’s Talk About It

Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.

— Fred Rogers

The call came from Germany on Christmas Eve 1990. “Thanks for the cookies.” He was lying in the hospital having been bit by a poison spider. Weak from his excursion in the desert.

I had forgotten the sound of his voice for a moment. Only I didn’t really forget his voice. It had changed to a young man, grown.

Not fully understanding then, our conversation ensued and he finally broke down a tad. “They made us sit in gas chambers. Like during the holocaust.”

He would return to the states broken of his spirit. All of my love couldn’t fill those spaces hollowed out by war. The places of his mind were altered to pain and terror. He was a walking shell, emptied of John. Color had left his voice.

I was helpless on the other end of the phone line. My cookies such a weak gesture. I should have flown to see him. That was impossible! I was a new mom. Emily was six months old. None of which we talked about. Would a quilt have been more comforting? A gentle reminder of my care for him when he was a babe.

John remained a confused soul. We became estranged. He believed I was living in a perfect world and he wanted no reminder of his past. But haunts filled his days ever more. And chased him down each path.

Posted in Memoir, quotes

Power to Change

If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.

– Fred Rogers

I vividly remember watching this show with my brother, 1975-1978. The kindest men I knew, John and Mr Rogers from some neighborhood.

Posted in Musings, Photography, Poetry

Suicide

As March 1 draws near, emotions bubble to the top. Mostly anger. Then guilt. I rotate through the grief process every year. Denial passed over. The event all too familiar and real.

I think. I thought.

Shouldn’t i be well
by now

the pain of missing you
not seeing your smile
hearing the loving words
from your mouth -voices

ridicule my rest from the tragedy
climbing down the mountain
i scream, it should have been me!

What a mistake
to be happy
climbing
back up the mountain
year after year. Again and again.
Realizing in a year
the steep decline,
a familiar path,
has no net.

But you felt better,
decided to join society,
well meaning people chime. Again and again.
Who can understand this pain?

Posted in Memoir, Photography, Poetry

Brother

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Your birthday today
do you know
how I wonder about you
the searing, the longing
to hear your voice
a smile to bring peace
your nieces
and nephew wonder
in silence they understand

I would rather not talk
today. It is your birthday
your last day to be
with me, your best friend
the window open
a breeze blows in
there was no air conditioning
our rooms hot in the sordid
summer months

we listened
I watched as you left
this time you never returned
my heart hollow
funny how it has to end
we laughed forever
in the restaurant and I
forget why. No reason
and dad had a reason to
kick us under the table, embarrassed.

Funny how it has to end
I am laughing at memories
absent of you. There were
times I saved you
crawling into the room
needing a blanket
lying on the floor next to my bed
safe. You went off to war
and came back disturbed
sharing stories
of men in shoes too big to fill.

The ravage of minds
how do we get to be this way?

Posted in Memoir, Opinion, Poetry, Sermons

With no further ado, bow

Eight years is a long time to be boxed in by walls. Forty-nine years is even longer.

Losing a loved one is difficult.
When the culprit is suicide you are a foreigner.
That you remains a memory.

Moving on becomes a battle.
The walk is painful.
Legs are weighed down and moving is impossible.

Choosing to live is an obstacle.
Thoughts of ending your life becomes reality.
Numbness shows in your face.

Then, one day arrives, and the sun shines, and your eyes adjust.
Slowly your heart allows
Eyes gazing the distance.

Tears stream.
You are afraid to catch them.
You let the person go.

For too long I have been locked away, inside a dungeon. I have tortured myself long enough.I choose to believe I am worthy of life. I am loved. I have a purpose. I struggle but the struggle does not define who I am. I am nobody and I am somebody. I choose to be.

John 10:10…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I believe in sin and that belief  brought me to my knees. And on my knees I found love, grace and peace. In humbleness i serve others and not myself. I love everyone as much as I love me. I feel pain because I am not hugging my brother, but I am. His smile lives on.

I allow the ocean waves to rock me and not threaten. I allow the bird’s song to be sweet and not a call to be earth. I allow me to be seen. I allow the rain’s cleansing. I…

Now I adore my life
With the Bird, the abiding Leaf,
With the Fish, the questing Snail,
And the Eye altering all;
And I dance with William Blake
For Love, for Love’s sake.
Once More, the Round (1964)