Category Archives: Gratitude
Well, it’s been a few years, but here is part two. In light of the New Zealand massacre I feel obliged, again, to Never Forget,
Not so much obliged. It is my honor. My duty, as a human.
It is important. I never stopped.
And, Rainer is important.
He is a huge part of my past and my memories. And has dedicated his life to um, not, ‘reversing’ but, healing the scars of his ancestry.
He made me grow as a person.
I always fall head first into anything that intrigues me, and yes, at first, it was the documentary. But, once I knew him, I felt so comfortable and safe and later so loved.
But, that was years ago.
We managed, somehow, to reconnect.
I asked him, “What haven’t you been asked about, that you want to answer?”
I think the best way to share this interview is in our emails.
I should mention, he’s ill. And, in keeping with our friendship – and secrets – I can’t divulge the facts.
So, thinking on a topic, I decided (after he declined) God. To choose Religion.
Having death in our path causes one to ponder no?
I lost one of my best friends to cancer. She was an advocate for children. Unselfish. Completely fucking amazing – and – told me, “I don’t wan’t to go, I’m not ready.”
What ‘God’ takes someone who gives so much on the planet?
How is it that completely awful people still stride this earth and those with love and compassion in their hearts are taken??
And in keeping with my personal theory, here are our emails.
Me: Do you believe in God? Why or why not?
Me: I also think, what kind of ‘father’ would allow such horror, as you mentioned. So many good things hurt and harmed that were innocent. I also asked “In pain or in despair you don’t reach out to something ‘bigger’ than you or the planet?”
Him: Unfortunately I have to disappoint you, with my heart operation it was not possible any more in time, everything went so fast.
With everything else I also ask of course: Why me ?
But I do not address it to God, I can explain it to you also only with difficulty.
I was also too much disappointed by the Protestant Church, which is why I left it long ago. There you don’t get adequate help, pious sayings that mean nothing to me and can do without you.
They should rather change their politics and also admit if they have done something wrong and do not hide behind the institution church.
And to know exactly, they regulate that so that it does not cast a bad permanent light on the church.
No I do not pray.
It comes as it has to come, that doesn’t change the church either.
I believe in true love and friendship, even if it was denied me often enough in my life, or even abused. But I continue to believe in it, and at some point it will be true.
And I believe in what I am doing and that it is sincere and good and helps even if it is a slow success but it is one to see. I believe in many things but not in the institution church.
Me: Notice, the door to the cage is open. Even a fake birdcage I can’t close. I care too much. I agree, love and friendship is a higher power. And, I’m hoping the bible was right when it said, Jesus can see into your heart. I’m not religious, but, should I be judged, ‘it’ will see the real me in my heart. I do have one question for you. What do you to regret? If you could say something different or be different, what would it be?
Him: Our situation back then that I deeply regret, but otherwise I don’t really regret anything.
I see it all in a certain area of fate… You can’t change it in advance anyway, it comes as it comes.
Every day is a new challenge.
And I don’t mean by fate the biblical variant… I have done the most possible thing in my life that I can do to make my environment more beautiful.
I’ve always been faithful in life, I don’t drink, I don’t take drugs…I think more doesn’t work…and I’ve always treated friends as friends and stood by their side like a rock in the surf in an emergency.
I take care of people who need help, I have taken care of my mum self-sacrificingly without thinking of myself. I have always been a good caring father and grandfather.
We continue this journey together as friends. And, he IS an amazing father and grand-father. And friend. I will be forever grateful that our paths crossed.
As a side note, which, seems completely awful calling it so – I also interviewed a survivor – and I didn’t want to make this a piece about the past. But, (again) in light of current events, supremacists are gaining ground and feeling comfortable. I shall never forget the survivor who told me more than any history book could. That they ate their own lice for protein in the camp. I shudder. I’m disgusted and am SO proud that New Zealand has instantly said they are going to change their gun laws. That’s my personal opinion, not Rainer’s or any one else.
Just dive in shall I?
It hasn’t been that long ago that I didn’t think my life was worth much.
Funny isn’t it? How I can post fun exploits here and still feel that way? How I can share with you, but, I’ve stopped sharing with those close to me after hearing ‘just get over it’ or a version of that too many times.
I’ve been suffering from such extreme anxiety and depression that even getting ‘home’ was a hit or miss. Luckily, I didn’t hit anyone.
Couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t feel my hands. Couldn’t see. Put my windshield wipers on just to adjust my eyes. Focus! Breathe!
As for the ‘ with ‘home’ – no, I’m still not settled.
It’s not my space. It’s OUR space. And while sharing one seems quite romantic, it’s a constant compromise where before I had no need for such a thing.
I have always been able to be alone and not feel lonely – and truth be told, there are days I feel lonely living with someone.
There’s also the matter of being so far from places. I have my Rapunzel moments. And I have times I don’t know what to do or where to be.
Anyway, these past months have been tough. Well, let’s be honest, past few years have.
Couldn’t wake up without my heart pounding therefore disallowing a shower.
Couldn’t lay down because ‘horizontal’ was not an option.
It hasn’t been that long ago that I thought – “What else is there? I just want to be done.”
I absolutely thought about how I’d do it.
After all, I’m well traveled, ‘been there done that’. I’ve loved. I’ve lost. I’ve experienced the most amazing of things and the worst.
Besides, ‘no one will miss me’. (Untrue, I know.)
Now I’m entering a time of my life that I’m not completely pleased with. Losing others I love.
Losing control over my own health – well, to be fair, I could have more control but I’m also in that delusional phase of, “But, it’s MY turn now!” Fuck the warnings! Why on earth would I want to miss out on anything – I could die tomorrow!
Sought out a counselor, only to discover this psychologist was a once only, prescribe drugs type of guy.
Too bad, because I liked him.
I didn’t like his two drug decision. I have been on anti-depressants before, and I hate that feeling of … ‘other’. Outside of self. No highs, no lows, just – zombie.
I reached out to his office and explained I would find another way.
My general doctor told me, “You seem very smart, but, you can’t ‘smart’ your way out of this.”
Oh, yes I can.
I watched (binged) Ricky Gervais’ After Life yesterday,
There was a quote about religion, or, rather, the lack thereof.
He responded with (and yes, I’m paraphrasing), okay, so would you stop watching a movie knowing there was an end and nothing after that even if you were enjoying the movie?
It resonated with me.
It gave me pause for thought.
I want to finish the movie.
I am someone who has ‘good’. Also, always looking for it. I can offer something to the world even with my glitches.
I can be feeling my lowest and still find beauty in something. Even at my worst, I still notice special things around me and have the wherewithal to appreciate them!
Oh Clem. I’m still mourning him.
I originally created him with only a little mouth and two little rock eyes.
My husband insisted he at least have arms.
Here he was at his best – happy! I mean, after all, it was his birthday! (Snowday?)
I woke this morning with trepidation, was Clem still around???
He was, but, the weight of the snow had laden his arms, and he looked a lot less happy.
Clem had seen some shit.
I arrive home tonight and … Rest in Pieces dear Clem.
All joking aside (and, I’m really not joking about the loss of my inanimate snowman, you know me by now) is that this snowfall was bonkers.
It all started on Wednesday when snow (Blizzard) was expected.
You all know also by now that I have a fear of my drive and beating the storm was top priority for me and arriving home beforehand.
I received messages from my (should have been a meteorologist) husband, predicting (once again true) the weather.
I left work early.
Woke the next day in the dark, and peered out the window – and … WOW! Yes! A snow day!
Texted my bosses, who already had a heads-up. Nope, to the nopety nope, I would not be navigating ‘the pass’.
My first photos sucked. But, then daylight arrived and I went for a little walk. I realize I sound like Darth Vader (it was SO very cold), but also please listen for the crunching of snow, because, that’s what I had forgotten the sound of!!!! Fresh snow, fresh footprints – complete and utter white out!!!
I felt like a kid!
A SNOW DAY!
Butters enjoyed it too – she was frisky. (This, the dog who would not go outside in the rain a couple years ago to pee. (Thank Gawd that’s changed.)
So it was on! Bring it!
Hubby was home, fire was stoked and Butters happy.
Here’s some more pics of the rare day.
OH! SO glad I planted when I did. (Insert sarcasm here) But, it was a beautiful day.
I say that, but honestly, after a walk and many photos – it was just very white, wet and repetitive and I couldn’t stop thinking about how behind I was at work.
I went in early today – and navigated ice and ‘previous tire tracks’ (which is a thing) and totally appreciated the beauty of our area. The mountains were majestic – and I would love to show you them, but, I kept two hands on the wheel!
When it’s in the 120’s I’ll look back on this post and appreciate how cold my fingers were whilst scraping my car’s windshield. I’ll appreciate putting a jacket on – and I’ll look back on this beauty in awe!
I share this not for a pat on the back, but to point out how attitude is everything. I have found myself slipping in that area and must be mindful – today was a reminder.
Ran out to our local Dollar General (you know, that place where nothing is a dollar) for some bits and bobs because I did not want to go into ‘town’.
I’m in line and to my right it became clear, was a man (with three little ones) having issues at the register.
I hear, “Sorry” a few times and step in.
Me: How short are you? (Because we’ve all been there right?)
Him: Oh, it’s not that – they can’t change a hundred.
Me: I can do that for you. (Because for one day I could after receiving a recompense.)
Him: Thank you so much!
I return to placing my items on the counter and hear him talking to his checkout person.
Them: Sorry about that.
Him: No worries, I had an opportunity to be blessed. Everything happens for a reason.
Wow. An opportunity to be blessed. I’m so stubborn, I don’t allow such opportunities. I DO count my blessings. But, to hear it put that way – just – wow.
He had three very patient, well-behaved kidlets who now didn’t have to be dragged to one of our rural gas stations to get change then return to the shop for their suspended sale.
He wasn’t inconvenienced. He was calm and kind and ushered his little herd out the door with a “Thank you again.”
Now I’ll share a little about the drive to the shop.
I’ve alluded to how rural we are – and how dangerous the highway that splits our town in two is.
Apparently a little more dangerous further you go up the hill according to this sign. Yes, it’s real – yes, I took this pic. (I was a passenger at the time, let’s not dilute my ongoing rant with ‘But you took a pic while driving).
Back to the route at hand,
I mean, you have to be on point! Guessing what the ‘non-locals’ may potentially do. (Unfortunately, locals too.)
There are OH so many crosses up and down the road, the pass and the grade, I’ve memorized most of them. You’d think that would serve as foreshadowing to the drivers that I encounter, sadly they don’t.
So, ‘heading out to the shop’ is not as simple as it might be elsewhere.
If you so much as see a rabbit running across the road in front of you – there must be a thought process.
- Is it running FROM something? Should I expect to break for a coyote?
- Is there a car behind me? (Okay, that should be number 1 probably)
- Can I brake in time to avoid a collision, or do I need a plan b and where may I swerve safely?
We literally have signs.
BIG highway signs lit up asking the driver to take: CAUTION! CAUTION! CAUTION! Watch for animals!
That’s just when encountering a critter.
Then comes the actual road – and bonkers traffic. Timing is everything.
I’ve learned to turn off my ‘give a fuck’ about people behind me at a stop sign. I am NOT going until I am certain I can safely navigate the turn onto the highway.
I’ve been honked at once, and wanted to bolt out of the car and remind them about the crosses. Go ahead, go around me – take your chances, and chances are when you’re hit, I’ll still stop and help you. But, let’s avoid all of that and just chill the heck out!
Back to the animals, says the Queen of Tangents.
I seriously need glasses.
On the way to work Friday I saw someone switch to the left lane for no apparent reason ahead of me.
I squint and think to myself, “Is that a person?” (On the side of the road, not the lane switcher LOL).
Now, I’ve known for a while I need glasses. But when you have a laundry list of things you need, somethings that are important start sliding down that list.
I squint harder … “Is that a bush?”
I squint harder, now practically on TOP of the ‘thing’ – “Oh … a cow.”
A large, uninterested, grass filled mouthed cow. In the ‘bicycle’ lane (I don’t know what it’s technically called out here) of our very dangerous highway.
I would love to tell you there was a great amount of distance between my first guess and my realization, but there was not.
Obviously doesn’t help my commute that I can’t SEE – so I may have to bump that up the list.
But, what I did see today – gratitude and calmness – was enough to open my eyes and return me to a mindset of the same.
Maybe that needs to be on a sign too. Although, some would probably pay as much attention to it as they do the others.
I’ll just keep my eyes on my own paper and try to practice it myself.
There are days I wish we lived closer to ‘town’ – but mostly, I’m so grateful for our privacy, land and peaceful hearts.
I see beauty in everything. I look for good everywhere. Even the most simple of things stun me and fill my heart with appreciation.
Without further ado, (okay, a little more ‘ado’ because this meme cracks me up whenever I see it).
I present to you the scenes and views that captured my eyes and heart today.
Bottom line is that there is not a direction I can turn without feeling awe and gratitude.