(Disclaimer: I write about life, the good and the bad. It is what it is.)
August 4, 2019 Sunday
What do I love about my life today? I believe that would be that God continues to give chances, not just second or third, but 10, 33, 552 or 25,185 for each day of my life and more. Whew. I’m covered!!
Today FEAR is the Grizzly I have faced this month. How about forever, it seems? When I was oh, so much younger, I don’t remember FEAR so much as I remember facing possibilities with excitement. But love kinda changes things.
When Max and I got together, someday I might tell that story, he had heart problems. I was young, 30, and in love and FEAR reared its little bear cub head. My new husband was 17 years older than me with heart problems. I had a right to FEAR, don’t you think? FEAR settled in, waking me every morning as I anxiously looked over to see if Max had made it through the night.
Don’t misunderstand. There was NO reason for that FEAR to have settled in. Max was doing great, on meds and blowing and going. But FEAR had snuck into perhaps a tiny sliver of a slit in my being and began to grow. Instead of possibilities, daily life was worrisome. Oh, the webs FEAR can weave once it decided to make itself at home and deceive. Money, work, food, God . . . all were attached to FEAR’s kite string.
I don’t believe the realization of how much FEAR had taken over my being ever broke through its hideous ability to cloak itself in invincibility. It took over 25 years before I realized I didn’t have to wake to FEAR, that Max was alive and kicking. Alas, as most know, Max passed peacefully after 37 years together on October 5, 2017 at 4:44 p.m. FEAR settled back in with the rip Grief had made in my soul. Yes, Grief pops up again, as usual. (Smile)
FEAR of the future. I thought I would be prepared for the Grim Reaper when they came for Max. I, in fact, believe he actually went flying with angels! Anyhow . . . I now know being prepared will never happen for something changes when the person whom you love and shared your life, transitions to the other side of the veil. All of a sudden the daily questions for me became, “Why do that? Who cares? What does it matter? How can I make it the rest of my life?”
Grass grew high in places where roses had bloomed, okra and tomatoes had grown and a welcoming berm had stood with elves, fairies and a purple and white mosaic TCU square adorned the minuscule hill. Who cared?
Dust balls gathered. Papers to file reached a foot high. The garage was taken over with garage sale/Habitat boxes which were moved from spot to spot as access to various areas in the garage was needed.
The kitchen was cleaned, laundry was put away, toilets cleaned but Grief led the way for FEAR to flourish and I found myself in the middle of the Sahara, sinking in and out of black, rocky pits with only buff, fine, long, sandy pathways stretching out in front once I pulled myself out.
Oh, come on. You know I’m not going to leave you there.
Now, to the good news. Many of ya’ll have heard that part, hopefully there’s someone new who hasn’t so it won’t be THAT repetitious to all. I took a trip to Florida a few weeks ago which has become a life changing event for me.
My younger sister, my last sibling, took it upon herself to refill my closet and show me Florida, entice me to Florida, as I went alone for the first time in years. We shopped every thrift shop we could find, making a grateful dent into my old, worn-out wardrobe. Talk of moving back to Florida was tossed around like a daily side-salad. Getting older without family around me has made us concerned about our future. What do I do when I get decrepit and can’t take care of me?
So, we went on friend adventures with some of her dynamic compadres and we delighted in sister adventures. We talked and we argued and we learned we could get along pretty great, confirmed the deep love we have for each other and realized without a doubt we could NEVER live together! Yes, I know. NEVER say never! But in this case I think reality would win over.
My older sister’s kids and their families are there but I wouldn’t want to be a burden to them. My brother-in-law has moved on since my sis passed in 2005. Looking at places I could live in Florida was next on the check list and it was pretty depressing.
Where is FEAR in all of this, you might be thinking. Well, I got on that plane to fly home and felt my heart lurch with joy at the thought of being home, the home Max and I had built, had visited every day to ensure each detail was handled just right. Compared to Florida it was a castle and I began to see it as such. It’s MY castle and I love it.
FEAR tried its usual trick to sneak in but I began to literally feel a new, interesting, intriguing emotion. FEAR kept trying to scream its head off and I . . . laughed!! Determination set in. IF I have to live this life without Max, then I shall do it with gusto! As I’ve said before, Max was no quitter which has given me the gumption so much of the time to fight on but I had never been able to even begin to quelch FEAR, not a smidgeon. Those 3:00 a.m. FEAR calls had come regularly. Now, instead, I turned and faced the FEAR with a grin on my face and angels by my side. FEAR had lost its control on my soul! Oooo, I like that line!
Today, and I do take this new delight at life on a One Day at a Time basis, whatever MIRACLE happened in Florida and on that plane, I love it. When FEAR tries to invade my spirit I face it and kick it in the *#@%, laugh and take the action FEAR was trying to stop. Of course, do not give me any credit in this. I firmly believe it is God and all my wonderful angels, perhaps Max?, who have finally made it through this elephant thick hide of mine to realize All is Well in God’s World.
My first RGV Writers’ Connection, a writers’ hangout, was yesterday. As I sat there at 10:00 a.m., coffee brewed, blueberry tea awaiting a taster’s delight, snacks including some of my most delicious fruitcake, signs up, whiteboard cleaned and ready for notes, and nobody showing, I fell joy in my heart. Rio Bank has sponsored this and I know it is the right thing to do so I knew no matter what happened it was perfect. Wow, that doesn’t sound like the old Rod at all, does it? I could not deny the absolute elation I felt, and it was not from the caffeine of the scrumptious organic coffee I had made. Then three people showed up and we had the best meeting. I couldn’t have asked for a better first meeting.
Wednesday I am instigating a Grief Support Group at Kreidler’s Funeral Home at 6:00 p.m. I’ve come to find Grief a great storyteller. Watching how people have chosen to live with Grief is so fascinating to me. On every account it’s a life changer. I remember seeing a duck hovering around its dead mate, not willing to let go. Did it feel the same FEAR we feel. Their instincts take them to flight in a perilous situation so FEAR has to be there, somewhere. Are we the same as them or them the same as we? Hating to let go, not wanting to face the future without the loves in our lives. The pondering brings me exhilarating satisfaction.
I’m going to start promoting my books, Rocksann Finds God and Everelle’s Quest. If some people don’t like them, some will. They are worth reading and they are good. I’m proud of them. I will be proud of more should they ever get written.
I’ve come to believe that what God wants of us is to wake up every morning, welcome the day, and experience every encounter with gratitude, good or bad. I believe every thing happens for a reason and if, eventually, we can arrive at a peaceful state of mind because of that, than the next door will open for us to walk through. Somewhere in it all are lessons for us to learn and the sooner we learn it, the sooner we can move on to the next.
I believe God has made this big, wide, wonderful world for us to enjoy, to live, to accept and more than anything, help someone else along the way. As our pastor said at our wedding, “God didn’t promise you a rose garden.”
So I urge you to taste the wonder of life. For me it’s become like eating a fluffy, crispy crusted, buttery, organic- baked potato with a ice-cold glass of organic fat-free milk, a heaping plate of real Shepherd’s Pie or even a fat slab of the best cheesecake on the planet.
Alone, together, happy, sad, rich, poor . . . life may not be easy, and I can almost guarantee you that won’t be, but it sure is thought-provoking, don’t you think? Here’s to FEAR and its defeat, no matter how you face it! Thank you for reading.