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Interview with Rainer part Two … About God

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.

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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?

Him:

How can you believe in the church with all the atrocities in the world?
When I look at the news, especially what has just happened in New Zealand. Wars of faith wherever you look. And all this in the name of faith or ethnicity, how terrible.
Who sets the standards for faith? The church in my eyes. I believe in something beyond our imagination in a power that is certainly not earthly, but I would never call it “church”.
Church is an institution that advertises with the promise of a life after death in paradise. Using the artifacts of a bygone era to bind the so-called believers to itself.
The one who indoctrinates, no less bad than political groups of all colours. Church promotes wars and of course tries to eliminate other faith communities, to take their dominance away from them.
See the Catholic Church, it is a clear proof of such action and procedure.
The Vatican was deeply involved in National Socialism and also helped to eliminate another ethnic or non-national church. Later, the help of the murderers to escape to other countries. The so-called rat line to South America. Church as an institution is a group of companies in my eyes, a profit center which is financed by faith in God, which already over centuries.
What is faith ? What does the institution church tell me that it is?
What it wants to inoculate the believers, and the fact that it is only this redemption and the acquittal for our transgressions. In the Middle Ages in Germany there was the debt relief with the church, by a document which promised against a large sum of money that with it the debt after death was settled. I have never seen or met anyone who could confirm this, who came back from the realm of death to confirm it.
But man is kept in faith in God like a large flock of sheep. You only need a handful of Christian shepherd dogs to control them.
And the church also canonizes people, for what? What is so extraordinary about these people? Isn’t every person extraordinary or only believers who have dedicated themselves completely to the church? Religious madness !
Or there is still the witch burnings world-wide, which was called also by the church into being. For the witch hunters a profitable business, as well as for the church. She has thereby secured herself the ultimate power on earth. So what is church and what does church do in a person’s life?  It certainly helps one or the other, but does God really exist?
Couldn’t God also be called IT?
Where does the faith originate, who brought it into being, every church has its own opinion and interpretation which fits to its own cult of faith and everyone says it is the true church, the true faith and all others are just fakes.
Or the rape and abuse of children in the church, and the fact that the church concealed this for centuries.
In Germany, more and more of these cases are coming to light. The church even has its own court for this, and shows that it does not belong in the normal jurisdiction of everyone. Another point to reject the institution church. Because here the law is trampled underfoot and twisted as one needs it right now.

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.

 

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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.

 

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Of Love and Uncertainty

I haven’t mused from the laundromat for a while – and that’s been odd.  My weekends have been filled, to my delight.

When I DO go, I do try to be there when my laundry lady is there also.  She told me I was missed.

I believe her, because I miss her too.  The routine – the ‘regulars’.  But I wouldn’t trade another Sunday there for what I have now.

 

I’ll start with this, I’ve been so happy lately that even my son, (who has moved again across country and who I haven’t seen since January 6th of this year) has commented on it.

Keep in mind, our chats have been minimal and our communications brief.  So, it’s a pretty big deal that he sees a change in me.

My heart is more peaceful, my anxiety lessened.  I smile more – I treasure moments no matter how fleeting.  I’ve been exploring, forcing myself out of my comfort zone.  Doing things to make someone else happy and in making the effort, found myself happier too.

Life has taken a turn and whether it’s for a reason, a season or a lifetime – I’m just very glad it happened.

And yet, I still find myself waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’.

As if I’m not worthy of a happy ending.  Or, just so used to not expecting one that the possibility is absurd.

I think the more I let go and the more I trust that I can pinch myself and not wake up, the less I’ll be waiting for things to go wrong.

I’m still also painfully aware at how brief and unpredictable life can be.

I’ll be participating in a 3K walk to benefit my sweet friend with stage 4 cancer on Saturday.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not think of her.

Every visit is cherished.

I find myself wanting to curl up next to her and just … be.  Of course, it hurts her too much to move or be bumped or even to hug.  So, her toes are mine.  I gently rub her feet in some attempt to offer comfort where I know I can’t.

I think I’ve been living for her lately too.

Pushing myself with the ever-present thought, ‘She would LOVE to be able to do this!’  I’m not just talking about adventures.  It’s the little things like,  getting out of bed, standing in the shower, dressing myself.  Standing in line at a store!  (I WILL give you the lecture if I hear you complain you know – “You realize there are some people who would give ANYTHING to be in this line?!”)

I  especially thought of her when it was finally cool enough to join the man who has my heart in the desert.  She would have given anything to sit where I sat after navigating a climb.  She would have been in just as much awe of the view as I was and welcoming the sweet sleepiness that was sure to follow that night.

So there it is.

My life at the moment.

Filled with hope and also with impending sadness.

Certainty and uncertainty.

Immense joy knowing that I am capable of such love now and willing to offer it with no expectations.

To them both.

Knowing that losing either of them is going to break my heart.  And yet, knowing them for however long I have makes it most definitely worth it.

 

Musings from the Laundromat – Tick Tock edition.

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Long chats with my Laundry Lady and Glaucoma Man today.

I gave Laundry Lady my phone number in case she ever needs anything.   She doesn’t have a car.  Depends on her roommate to get her to work and home.  She’s been working there for over 8 years – no vacation pay – no benefits.  I learned so much more today about her.

She mentioned she hates working the morning shifts, but loves seeing me.  That made my day.  Because I feel the same way.  For over 6 years I’ve waddled into that building, weighted down by my laundry baskets.  And I can count on seeing her sweet face and her beautiful smile.  I can count on her putting on the coffee and having a brief chat.

I’m making a point of being more involved and engaged with people in my life.

-Tick Tock-

Received some bad news recently about someone I love dearly … And it rocked my world.  I’ll keep them anonymous, but, the news was the ‘C’ word.

Inoperable ‘C’ word.

And what angers me so much is that this person is so very good and kind and loving and giving.  And too young for such a diagnosis.

This person has so much to share with the world and the world needs them!

It’s that stage of life now isn’t it?   Late 40’s.  Where you start hearing about people falling ill or worse.

-Tick Tock-

There are some other people in my life, who will also remain anonymous, who have been madly in love for over 41 years.   I mean, seriously, deliriously and obviously in LOVE.  Still get butterflies when they see each other.  It’s palpable.  Their love is something you can almost reach out and touch it’s that real.  They’re ridding themselves of material things and readying themselves for retirement.   They want to spend the rest of their lives traveling and loving one another.

I think that’s beautiful.  And I find myself envying what they have in a non-green way.  I’m happy for them, so very happy for them – but yes, there is a part of me that knows I will never have that and a part of me yearns for it.

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-Tick Tock-

I’m flying again on Thursday – to see that someone special again.  Spreading my wings, exploring options – overcoming fears and giving life a look.

I will say that I AM fortunate.  I’ve done more in my lifetime than most.  Traveled and soaked up other cultures, beliefs and people.

From France to India in a bus full of eclectic passengers.  I’m forever grateful for that experience.

-Tick Tock-

Had an amazing day yesterday seeing another person I love.  A dear friend and practically a brother.  We grew up together in England.  His mother is my God Mother and there was a point our parents, who are still dear friends, lived together.  We reenacted a photo taken 43 years ago.

Here it is.

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But as I was leaving, I had a sinking feeling we may never see one another again.  And it made me sad and so very aware of time.  Time and the passage of it.  Of life and its beautiful uncertainties.

My son leaves in January.  I was reading a Facebook memory yesterday (thank goodness for those by the way) and it was me sharing my gratitude of spending time with him.  5 years ago yesterday we were curled up on the couch watching ‘Up’ and I expressed how precious I knew that moment was.

I was in that moment and knew with my whole heart how important it was just to spend that time – because life is so fleeting.

I hope I never forget to feel that way.

No matter what happens, I’ll endeavor to cherish the important people and things.

Because once the curtain comes down, there’s no more time to say “I love you.”

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And the clock ticks on.  Life is in session.

Musings from the Laundromat: Limping Manatee and a Surrogate Angel edition

Laundry lady has bronchitis – but is here anyway.   It is SO humid inside this building today.  I feel like I’m breathing in water.  That can’t be good for bronchitis right?  Or is it the opposite?   I can’t remember and I’m the Queen of Bronchitis.

Outside it’s grey and cold.  I debated putting off the trip when I woke shivering this morning.

I had slept fitfully.  Tossing and turning and looking at the clock.

I had arranged for a friend to take my mum some lunch and a smile from me.   A surrogate to bring a little sunshine to what is a dreary routine day for my vigilant and loving mum.

Every time I woke, I looked at the clock trying in my sleepy state to do the math to figure out what time it was in England.  Felt like a bittersweet Christmas Eve.

THANK YOU to that friend by the way.  I think I can use her first name without her minding.  Theresa and I went to primary school together.  And, she just happens to be married to the brother of my first love.  Crazy how things turn out eh?

So now I’m here.  I decided it wasn’t going to get any warmer from the looks of it and would be nice to get everything done and relax for the remainder of my last day off.

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In other news, Butters, the cowardly manatee, injured herself.

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She started having difficulties getting around about a week and a half ago?  I thought perhaps it was the shift in the weather.  It’s been cold, windy and rainy in our desert.  On some days colder than the East Coast!  I did the math, realized we’ve had the pleasure of her company for almost 5 years and she was certainly no pup when she found us.

But then she started to noticeably limp.

I checked her legs – she didn’t cry out.

Checked her paws and pads for those evil rams heads that inevitably find our feet at least once a week.

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Nope.  Nothing.

Then I had a small panic.

I couldn’t afford to take her to the vet – and lamented this on Facebook.

Someone mentioned ‘Care Credit’ which I applied for the very next day and qualified for.  Made an appointment and yesterday afternoon we were off to the vet.

I make that sound pretty smooth right?

Um – no.

Butters on leash, realized we were exiting ‘the gate’ AND we were headed to the car and proceeded to  freak OUT.

I got her in the back seat then she upped her freak out a notch.  Her excitement had me blocking the back seat with part of my arm whilst trying to change gears with the same arm.   (Well, the hand attached to the same arm – you know what I mean.)  So, I’m elbowing the divide between us and making cooing sounds until we arrived.

Now she realizes where she is and is immediately overcome with sensory overload.

Hyperventilating began.  As did excited shaking.  And wind passing.  And panting.  And it was 20 minutes of this fun mode until we were put into a room.

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For some reason, she also managed to shed more???  I kid you not, there was hair EVERYWHERE.  I kept petting her, it kept coming.  I mean, she worked herself up so much she was losing her hair. Lol.

At this point, I’m thinking the vet is going to assume I brought her in for an exorcism.

She was a trooper for the staff.  (Okay, I did have to get on the scale with her to get her weight, but other than that and trying to sit on the thermometer while inserted, she did very well.)

The vet examined the offending leg.  OH! I should point out that the vet only knew which leg to examine after watching videos of her limping that I had taken the night before.

Because, the minute we got there, guess who was no longer limping?   Ding! Ding! Ding!  You win.

Yup, Butters, in her adrenaline pumped state – suddenly had no signs of an issue.  Other than mental.

Her range of motion was amazing (better than mine actually) – and other than a few joint pops as the vet pulled and bent and prodded, he concluded she had just over extended or sprained the leg.  (Not surprising since she thinks she’s super dog every time she fly’s off the porch in pursuit of a rabbit or car.)

She has  anti-inflmmatories to take and is meant to chill out for 6 days.

Didn’t end up having to use the Care Credit as no X-Ray was taken.  If she isn’t improving in the coming week though, that’s the next step.

So it’s been quite a week.

Nic and I spent the rest of the evening gorging ourselves on Chinese food (courtesy of a gift certificate I received for Christmas) and watching a movie together.

Butters limped around the house as if nothing note worthy had happened that day.

Which is good, because I think she’s right pawed, and it would be difficult to write in her little diary if she had thought it worth noting.

 

Finding a poem – and him loving another

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I found a poem today … from my love.  To someone else.

And I adored it.

We both have yesterdays.

Those yesterdays make up who we are today.

Those yesterdays made the timing just right for what we have now.

Who would we be if we didn’t experience heartache, longing, change?

Who would we be if we were stagnant?  Not growing, not hurting – figuring out what worked in our lives and what didn’t?

I cherish his memories.  Because not only did he care for people, but he shared with me that he cared for them.  I couldn’t love someone that discounted their past.  Who wrote if off like it never happened.

Then it would mean I never happened.

I’m not jealous.  I have such confidence in our love it’s bonkers.

I cherish every step he took – every painful step he took and kept walking!!

He has a girl – that he adores.  Her name is Amy.  And for a while, I had a fleeting problem with him sharing a house with her.  Silly.  But, you know how I am.  Honest. This feeling cropped up knowing he had a past, and hopes, and dreams with her – and I was on the heels of falling in love.

Silly, because, she’s pretty freaking amazing.   And she was there for him.  When he needed her most.

I adore her too.  And she reached out to me the other day – and while we only exchanged two IM’s, the mutual respect was there.

Things happen for a reason.

And I know that amazing woman will always be part of our lives.  And she must be.  Because she seees in him what I see in him.  She loves him.

And he loves her.

And he has never made that a secret.  And I love that about my  future husband.

He adores who he adores – endlessly.

That makes me feel safe.

The honesty.  The dedication.  The loyalty.

What he gives to those he loves.

I love.