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‘Friends’ or ‘How I’m going to make it through ‘Amandapause’

I was emotional today (shocker).

I sat missing my boy and tears streamed down my cheeks.  I’m having a rough time with this transition thing.

I snapped at Nic (in IM) when he reminded me he would be gone a week starting Monday.  I won’t see him until the second week of 2015 – and every second is so precious.

I was on the heels of yesterday’s amazing day.  The BEST part was just having that time with him you know?

My heart had grown three sizes and my love for my boy was at 11.

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When I got home I told him, “I’m sorry I snapped at you – the thing is, you have a mess of a mother and you’re the best part of me.”

And he is.  Or, he brought it out anyway.

I’m my own worst critic, which I’ve been reminded of by my nearest and dearest friends.

Anyway – rewind – after a weepy day – I drove home and thought to check the mail.

In my little cluster box was a key.  A key!  That meant a package.  My first thought, “Nic will be glad something he ordered came.”

But it was addressed to me – a box from ‘Santa’s Elves’.  I knew from the address who the elf was.  I won’t name her because I don’t know if it’s ok.

Inside it:

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SO many amazing treats.

My first thought – even after my attitude brightened and I had a smile on my face?

“WHY do I deserve this friendship???”

I’ve had this thought before – many times.

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I used to be able to surprise my friends with fun tokens of appreciation – silly cards – meals, and would do so at every opportunity.  Whether it be a balloon just because it was Thursday, or something I knew they’d just love! ^_^

A lot of the reason I don’t do that anymore is money related now – but if I’m being fair, and I’m being honest – it’s because I have been having this decade long pity party.

I’m so DONE!

I don’t reach out – I don’t go anywhere – I resist.  I reached a point in my life where I just wanted to be in my nest and became very selfish.

Not in a ‘it’s all about me’ way – but in a ‘it’s about nothing and nobody’ way.

Does that make sense?

Here:

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I built a wall.  I climbed into my comfort zone and curled into a stupid little ball.

But:

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Constantly.  I seriously don’t know why they put up with me!!!  And I don’t say that for someone to tell me why they do – I am not fishing.  I’m being very serious.

I have a friend Lisa – (I’ve named her before, I don’t think she’ll mind) who has made every past Christmas amazing – with funny thoughtful gifts.  Last Christmas she took me to the Eiffel Tower restaurant and showered me with gifts.  All the while I was embarrassed, not being able to reciprocate – and the gift I made her? I had made with a fever.  I was so sick.  For what seemed like weeks.  Even her mom mentioned on Facebook maybe we shouldn’t even be meeting up.  She didn’t want Lisa getting sick.  LOL!

Point is – I felt inadequate.

A combination of embarrassment of what I had to offer and a serious hard time receiving.

But I SO love when I’m thought of.

I’ve received little and big treats from other friends too – and never feel deserving, but always feel so uplifted by the gesture.

It’s never about the gift – (although they SO know me and the gifts are amazing) but mostly about the fact that they went out of their way – had me in mind and followed through!

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So I have a New Years resolution – (which I usually try to stay away from) 2015 will be me, filling my address book and whenever I can, brightening a friends day with a little something.

Because it feels SO good.

(I try not to mention when I do a good deed, I feel like it sucks the ‘good’ out of it.

But I will share with my followers, that Christmas Eve I went to ‘The Neighbor’s’.  I had an abundance of treats – so I took some banana nut bread and home-made toffee, plus two toys that Butters didn’t need anymore.  I said Merry Christmas to the little ones and the poor dog next door got the toys.  I didn’t have to do a covert op with Nic. LOL!)

Anyway – feeling like I need to appreciate the ones I love more.  And I can say it and know they’re the kind of people that’s enough for – but I want them opening an unexpected envelope or small box and having the warm fuzzy feeling they gave me!

I’d name you all who gave me that feeling if I felt it was okay to do so.

I love you all. x

Thank you for loving me back.

 

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Musing from the Laundromat: TGIN!

TGIN!

Thank god it’s November!

Here was last nights sky – full of promise and beauty – and I think  my retina is forever damaged for having looked straight at it (through glass no less) to take the picture, but it was worth it.

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October had enough ‘suck’ in it to dampen even the most optimistic of souls.

I felt bombarded by ‘suck’.

At one of my lowest points, I was even called ‘worse than the Nazis’ by a holocaust survivor.  You can’t top that. No you can’t.  I officially win the ‘most insulted’ contest in the world.

I didn’t deserve that.  But I considered the bitter, ignorant source and let it go.

Let’s do a recap.

Lost love I’d been waiting patiently and devotedly 16 months for.  Nice 3 night, 2 day visit with the man I thought I was going to be old with on a porch one day.

Got the award-winning insult from a misinformed, interfering party.

Car broke.

Car broke again.

Sons car died on me.

Had no groceries for almost two weeks due to car fix.

Ah – but good things come from bad.  I have a clean slate for November.

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The love thing – it was better I found out early on (early – lol – after 16 months) that the Prince was a Frog.

The insult – I’ve got no bright side to that, other than confirming how completely toxic the insulter actually is.

Car – it could have left me stranded in a really bad spot – but didn’t.  Both times I was able to get the car carefully home and arrange a way to get to work.

No groceries?  I survived.  All those things in the pantry I bypassed for other things?  They got the attention they deserved.  Although, it will be a while before I want to eat oatmeal or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches again.

1st world problems eh?

I’m rich with blessings still.

So I’ll shut up about October.

Let’s peek at our featured laundromat patron.

I call her ‘crossing lady’.  She sat and crossed her feet – uncrossed, lifted her legs into the air and crossed them the opposite way.  It was mesmerizing.

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Over and over – restless feet on this lovely little lady – I wonder if she used to be a dancer.

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In other news – my YouTube channel has been fun to do – but only readers of my blog are really going to find any of the entries interesting.  Or maybe not. LOL!

Much like this site of mine – I’ll eventually find my voice there too.

Why am I doing it?  Because I’m determined to get out of my anxiety shell.  Put myself out there and push the nerves down, down … to the very tips of my toes..

Speaking of getting out of my anxiety shell – I actually left the house this weekend.  I did!  I’m a hermit. I am.  I’d rather be home.  But when I DO go out, I’m the girl who strides over to a stranger with my hand out saying “Hi! I’m Amanda.”

I went to a ‘grown up’ event Halloween (good thing they didn’t want to see my ‘grown up’ membership card, because I don’t have one.)

Enjoyed sitting with friends – meeting new people and while I only stayed a couple of hours, I  was glad I did it.

So here’s to November!  May it be filled with GOOD and hope and joy.

I think if I focus on those things, its bound to be.

Check out my channel and subscribe if you’re so inclined. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=debauchery+soup

And here’s one from Show and Tell Tuesday.  Yeah – it’s lame.  But it is taking guts I really need to work on developing to make – so I was proud I got through it without stumbling and blushing and being incapable of speech.

Gotta love those freeze frame pictures! LOL!  Oh well.  All part of becoming more comfortable.

 

Now I shall be eating a cupcake and relaxing this beautiful Sunday – Until next time – PEACE!

 

 

A Non-Practicing Agnostic’s 2 Cents Worth – OR “Now I’m going to hell for SURE”

I was going to name this post “God is a Terrorist”.

Pretty harsh – but fearing God is no small thing.

Terrorism: ‘The systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion’

I think burning in the fiery pits of hell for eternity if you don’t adhere to a set of rules qualifies.

I stopped short though – because even after all of what I’m sharing below, I’m STILL scared I’m going to hell.

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I do fear God.

Man’s God.

The God of the books.

Who, in my opinion, due to purposefully edited pages for period relevant agendas – is misrepresented in the conglomeration.

I wanted to believe for years simply because I did not want to go to hell.

I was afraid not to believe.

Today I have,  a ‘God’.

And it is love. And it is good. And it is hope.

 

I believe we are born believing in those things – it’s inherently in us.

We expect good before we even know what ‘good’ is.  A baby will cry when angry voices are raised and I doubt it’s processing anything more than the negative energy, inherently knowing that only in positive energy will it survive and thrive.

A small child when abused for the first time, registers shock with the pain – it knows the parental action is contrary to love without anyone having to explain that to them.

The young have no prejudice – are open-minded – filled with wonder, hope, faith and dreams.

Then something happens along the way, I suppose the jaded of us knock those things right out of them.

We fuck it all up and then need to be reminded to be good.

Not to kill.

Not to steal.

Not to do the most basic of sins that we were born not wanting to do in the first place!

(In the interest of fairness, here’s a great article based on experiments that somewhat disagrees with me HERE)

I have to concede that in order for ‘good’ to encounter ‘bad’ – it must exist, and therefore, some of us are not born entirely ‘good’.  Evil?  I choose to call it Mentally Unhealthy.  A gene … a predisposition that when coupled with a negative environment can only breed something dark.

I’ll once again share my favorite quote of all time:

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To my mind, there’s no disputing that the monsters under our bed are based on the monsters that sleep atop them.

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So let’s stick  with the premise that we’re fundamentally good.

Society functions better when we are ‘good’ together (Rand and Nietzsche may disagree, but stay with me)

Ironically, think of Christmas time.

For all intents and purposes, let’s take religion out of it.

Think only of the atmosphere – shops playing festive music, decorations adorning the mundane – from lamp posts to our own living rooms.  Strangers are nicer to one another (love) – anticipation is in the air (hope) and we’re thinking of others not ourselves (good).

Yes there’s a flip side to the holiday coin (pun intended), the stress of the material accumulation, preparing for guests, the huge expense of the ever exhausting increase of ‘gifting’ – but the FEELING of goodwill is undeniable.

Goodwill feels so much better naturally than hate.

I personally can’t be angry with someone without it tearing me up inside!  That horrible feeling in the gut I get when I’m in fear or in a bad mood is just awful.

And natural. It’s always been. It’s an internal physical response to adversity.

I couldn’t lie, steal, covet, be a glutton, murder, or any of those other no-no’s without such a feeling.

And I felt that long before I learned they were against ‘the rules’.

Because of our own mortality, we have the sensibility to know the severity of taking another’s life.

Because we feel pain, we’re aware it’s not a good thing and therefore do not inflict it on others – except as punishment.

So let’s just assume that we are hardwired for good – and come with the basic fundamentals of how to behave on this planet.

I tend to research … a LOT when I’m pulled in different directions with a topic. I watched documentary after documentary about religion – about Christianity – about Atheism.

Documentaries that I hoped would be packed with fact and educational material for me, the ignorant seeker.

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(I have a whole other post planned for ‘documentaries’.  I’ve almost completely lost faith in them after getting some firsthand insight into how they are made, and especially after watching someone present themselves in a fashion not practiced in ‘real life’)

But, that is for another day.

 

I watched “The Unbelievers” featuring Dawkins and Krauss. I was in complete agreement with most of all the film.  I wonder sometimes if my mind is too open.  I’m mailable – and I know it.

I fell for a lot of Brian Flemmings “The God Who Wasn’t There”, especially when introduced to the Christ Myth and Graves 16 Crucified Saviors.

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I was intrigued.

Then he lost me when he personally attacked someone with a derogatory comment.

I hate that. If your points are valid – stick to them. Don’t resort to name calling to try to win a debate.

It only weakens your reputation in my eyes and takes your argument with it.

I’ve seen 100’s of documentaries – obsessed with truth-seeking.

I’ve been moved to tears, had lifelong opinions challenged and changed and been introduced to people, places and situations I may otherwise never have encountered.

I even found my love through a documentary.

But I don’t believe ALL I read/hear.

I found a great rebuttal to the Jesus/Horus comparisons here: http://www.jonsorensen.net/2012/10/25/horus-manure-debunking-the-jesushorus-connection/    You really have to read the comments to get the full effect.

I love the back and forth – the freedom to disagree.  “Permission to question”.

But there will always be people who pick and choose facts and leave out some details that don’t support their argument. (Another reason I’ve gone off documentaries)

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I got to thinking, if tomorrow God was proven to be nothing but a myth, would I murder? If I no longer feared hell, would I sin just because I could?

No.

No I wouldn’t.

Because there are other repercussions here on earth – it would affect my quality of life and of those around me.  Repercussions of the heart – of our mental health – of our souls.  Yes.  I believe in a soul.

I believe that unexplainable part of us that gives us goosebumps when an achingly beautiful piece of music is played, is our soul.  That part of us that fills with warmth when we watch our children sleeping – is our soul.  That small voice reminding us to choose ‘good’ – is our soul.

We’re wired to want to be a part of something, to commune with others.  We’re born with specific and individual talents and abilities so that when joined with others, we become an orchestra of humanity.

However you want to stay in touch with your humanity is fine by me – and I don’t take task with those who have unbridled Faith and use their powers for good.  It’s those who are almost brainwashed – killing in the name of their religion.  Those who look down on those who do not practice the same rituals, pray the same way or believe the same things that have me shuddering at organized religion.

And I won’t be a part of it.

I’ll stick to continual seeking – an open mind – and a unwavering belief in Love, Hope and Goodness.

 

Deeper

Part I – The truth

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I’ve seen abject poverty, absurd wealth – caste systems – been tugged at by hungry, filthy, beautiful children in India “Baksheesh!”.  My white skin and light hair touched uninvited, brave small hands reaching out to make tangible the encounter.

I’ve climbed onto a wing of a plane and let go.

Lain on a table as a life ended.

Pushed life into the world while apologizing to a room I had screamed for hours in prior.

I’ve loved and lost.

Hated and forgiven.

Held onto innocence as long as I could, the only ways I knew how.

Delved into debauchery to test my limits and punch out at the world.

I am educated – and so ignorant.

I thirst for truth and seek it.  Hunger for good and dissect things until I find it.

(Dissection … a quick tangent here.

It occurs to me that when people tell me to ‘let it go!’ or ‘Just get over it’  the simple fact is that they just don’t want to hear about a current problem or hurt.

For me, I must dissect.  So that when I let go, I let go of all of the parts.

It takes me longer, but in the end I’m rid of, and understand ‘the thing’.)

I ache at injustice.

I have a bad habit of flight in lieu of fight.

I need solitude to really be me – and in that solitude I ache for a partner.  One I can miss.

I’ve been a good mother, an awful mother. A good friend and an awful friend.  A good daughter and an awful daughter.

I’ve self medicated, self mutilated and despised myself.

Lashed out – fed my pain with my own cold served dishes.

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I hit my knees nightly saying ‘thank you’ to a God I don’t believe in.

Spiritual me, with hands clasped – and God forbid I forget, perhaps in a state of fatigue.  My OCD pulls me from bed and I snap out a prayer – offer up sincere thanks and what I mean to be true – then sabotage my blessings almost daily.

I don’t reciprocate the love of my friends demonstrably.

She who used to gift everyone to be in their favor, won’t leave her home anymore to visit the important, unwavering people in her life.  And they still love me.

I hole up in my nest.  Only really feeling safe when I don’t have to make eye contact, or be funny or upbeat.  Where I’m not too thin, not too deep.  Where I’m gloriously, unapologetically me!

What’s left?

I go deeper into myself.  Talking to myself.

Not eloquently – but my thoughts are.  I open my mouth in public and hear myself trying to fit in and failing.

I see patterns in my behavior, faces in my food – beauty in the reprehesible and ugliness in Saints.

I see truth.

Part II – Deeper truth

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I watch the news and cringe at the biased reporting.

I read quotes slapped up on pages and various social media ‘walls’.

I sneer at the generic, pedestrian sentiments of the ‘Hang in there’ cat poster variety.

“Come on!  Catch up!  I’m past that life stage!”

Then end up feeling sanctimonious and rethinking everything I think I know again.

I want to say “You!  You there!  With the prefabricated opinion – have you looked into that?  Do you even know if it’s attributed to the correct author?  This original opinion that you found on the internet?”

“Have you weighed both sides through careful and passionate research?”

But I don’t.

Because then I’m told I think too much.

But should I ever be asked the same question, I hope my answer can always be an authentic ‘yes’.

I’ve written some terrible posts lately – just typed out for the sake of posting something.  I’ve been so uninspired.

Then I watched Nymphomaniac Volumes I & II last night and today.

Lars von Trier inspires me.

(The photos above are stolen screen shots from his movie Antichrist)

Lars von Trier pulls me deeper.

He puts no decorations on his points.  It’s raw.

I don’t have to pretend to ‘get’ him.  Pipe in the corner of my mouth, leather elbowed jacket – discussing the 100 things his movie could mean.  No. None of that.

His cinematography is breathtaking and writing succinct.

I used to love Poe.  I think because of the depressive complex nature of his topics.  I was young.  And full of angst.  I think I also pretended to understand him.

I never understood Shakespeare.  Okay, some of it.  But then I’d get snagged on a sentence – like a blouse on a branch.  The more I tried to pull free, the more entangled I became – the more the sentence could mean.

This reminds me of the joke about the blue curtains.

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In Nymphomaniac, I loved that Joe – while listening to Seligman’s metaphors politely and even contemplating their validity – carried on with what she meant to say.

Nymphomaniac was not erotic for me. I don’t think it is supposed to be.  But then – porn does not arouse me.

I have a very unhealthy view of intimacy – the result of a multitude of inappropriate ‘experiences’ I did not choose to be a part of.

The emotionless rutting makes me sad.  Especially in this movie – her never-ending quest to be filled.  To feel.

Her blank stare as men thrust inside of her on the train.

Carnal, desperate and mechanical.

She tells her life story, unedited, to a man who has taken her in after she has been beaten.

Of all the characters – Seligman the virgin, in my opinion, was the most reprehensible character of all the men.

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And not just because he kept interrupting her story while trying to validate her actions in order to feel better about himself …

I vehemently feel disgust for those who misrepresent themselves.

At least the other men did not hide their intentions.

People who hide their intentions frighten me.

I was very happy with the ending to the movie.

When I was little, and someone I loved very much was being hurt – I fantasized about doing the same thing.

It was always the same fantasy – the person would not be taken by surprise.

They would know it was me – look directly into my eyes and know my intention and that I was going to follow through.

Never for me – but for someone I love – I would kill.

I can know that about myself and I feel less guilty for not leaving my house to visit.

I also know I need to offer what I can to those I care for while there is still time.

I know this.

But I also feel I need to improve what I have to offer.

I’m still dissecting.

I still look in the mirror and don’t understand what others see.  I do not find myself aesthetically pleasing most of the time – and when I do, I feel prideful and vain.

But the most important things that I see when I look in the mirror I am comfortable with.

I meet my own eyes and see someone who is willing to admit all of her faults.

I see someone who is willing to work on them.

I see someone who I would like – someone I would visit and not expect a visit from in return.

I’d probably also post an arbitrary prefabricated quote on her wall and tell her not to take herself so seriously – that we’re all in different stages of our life’s journey, and hers is just one of many.

Knowing she’d dissect it.

 

 

 

Serving Life

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I don’t know if I’m so forgiving because I want to be forgiven.

I don’t know if I’m constantly seeing the good in those deemed ‘bad’ because I’m insightful or because I want to be good.

But I am forgiving and I do see good in bad.

This extends from situations to people.

I watched ‘Serving Life’ on New Years Day and it touched me so deeply – on so many levels.

First I thought about the convicted men.

It breaks my heart when I hear compassionate, intelligent, repentant, very human convicts wishing they could go back and undo their crimes.

That’s someone’s child – who cannot go back and will forever pay for their mistake.

I think about all the people who comment on news stories with such piousness.  I know that I have sinned – odds are they have too and how dare they judge another?

How many of those judging a murderer have been party to an abortion?  How many didn’t get caught the night they drove home drunk?

I think about a person born into an environment of despair, crime and fear – into a broken family devoid of encouragement, hope or love … what chance did they have?

I’m reminded of some lines from Silence of the Lambs.

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Hannibal:  No! He covets. That is his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer now.

Clarice: No. We just…

Hannibal: No. We begin by coveting what we see every day …

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We want what we see.  We mirror who we know. 

We can only do better when we know better.  At that point, it’s a choice.

If all you are exposed to is hunger, anger and helplessness – how do you know there is a ‘better’?

Are those seeking an escape from their reality with what they know, crack, heroin … less than those sipping too many martinis after a long day at the office – or abusing their Xanax prescription?

Does the tool for escape define the person?

There are so many crimes committed by people who are under the influence of drugs.

Drug addiction changes a person – takes hold and inserts its barbs into the flesh of the addicted.  But these are people who can be helped!

Why are we taking up so much prison space with people who were convicted for drug possession instead of treating them?

Then there are the mentally ill, who are certainly not served as they need to be in our country.

Why are we surprised when an untreated mentally ill person colors outside of society’s acceptable lines?

I think the outrage should be directed more toward the system that is neglecting those who need it.

I’ll now qualify all of the above with – there should be punishment for crime.  And murder, theft, assault is not acceptable.

I just know there’s a person under that orange jumpsuit – and reasons behind the crime.

I’m not offering excuses for them – I’m offering the idea that there is more than meets the eye.

Having said all of that – I’ll be honest when I tell you that I found it very difficult to find compassion for one man who had a terminal brain tumor.

His crime was that of sexually assaulting a minor.

He would fall into the mentally ill category I suppose – as in my opinion, a mentally healthy person wouldn’t have committed such a heinous crime.

I still wasn’t able to find my compassion for him even after acknowledging this.

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The inmates that decided to take part in the hospice program were surprisingly affected by the environment.

I say surprisingly because some had been exposed to death before, in violent and personal ways.

Men who had taken a life, sat scared and uncomfortable as they sat vigil with a man breathing his last breath.

The film makers did not spare the audience the final moments of the dying.  This was a raw and very real look into a hospice situation.

One man in particular became ill suddenly – unable to keep weight on his bones and coughing up blood.  The x-rays the prison had taken showed signs of cancer – but until a biopsy was done, they couldn’t diagnose the man.  He came several times to the ward only to return to his cell without having the tests done.

The fear in his eyes was my undoing.

The nurse asked him if he wanted to be admitted to the ward – no … he didn’t want to give up.

She explained that it wouldn’t be giving up.  That no matter where he was, if he had hope, he was not giving up.  But that he would be needing care should medical intervention be needed and that they could give that to him there.

Two things struck me at this point.  That this man, who was in prison, wanted to live – and even within the walls of that penitentiary, he still had hope.

To me though, that hospice must have smelled to him like the euthanasia room at a dog pound.

It was where people went to die – not to get well.

Here he was showing up to find out what was wrong with him, and the tests being delayed – and returning to his cell in fear and sickness.  I wanted to cradle him.  I wanted to shout for a doctor on his behalf.

He was sentenced to life after all – not death.

He finally did get his results – and they were worse than anyone expected.  He was given only weeks to live.

In his final weeks, he was afforded a visit from his brother, who was also imprisoned.  I was moved to tears as he implored his brother to change … to do better.

They prayed together and again, I wanted to hold that man.

The filmmakers followed him from couch to crematorium.

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The men that stayed by his side – who washed him and changed him – were getting perhaps a first lesson in humility, selflessness and compassion.

I say perhaps, because I don’t know that to be true.

But if it wasn’t their first lesson – it was definitely a powerful  experience that would leave a profound impression.

Even the warden admitted during his interview that he couldn’t do it.  That he had admiration for the men who could.

Those men got past their fears and became angels.

There was change.

There was deep regret for the lives they had taken.

There was respect for the process of dying.

Had these men been part of such a program prior to their crimes – would they have committed them?

I wondered with heavy heart about that too.

How does someone value life when they themselves are born into a world that does not value them?

When you’re raised to feel as if you are a statistic, a stereotype, a burden – where do you find worth within that gives you the strength to want to accomplish good things for yourself, let alone others?

There are those that do find it.  People who beat the odds.

I find that to be amazing and inspiring.

I have always been incredibly in awe of those who overcome adversity because they made a choice to do so.

I also think that by choosing to be part of the hospice program and being of service to the dying – the men documented in this film have done the same thing.

Some will have a chance to live that change in the outside world – some will not.

But I don’t think it came too late – it’s wonderful that it came at all – they learned the value of life through comforting the dying.