Been Long Time Gone…

I think there’s a song title in there somewhere. Anyway, been a long time since I’ve posted and much has changed yet as is the way of the world, much has stayed the same. If you read my last few posts you’ll see I took a stab at writing some poetry.  Might do a little more of that. That’s some hard stuff, poetry writing. Trying to grasp all the nuances of the human existence in a few simple sentences. I’m always amazed at those who do it well. The passing of Maya Angelou some time back is surely a great loss to all who love words and believe that they cannot only change the world but can also change who you are inside. That is, after all, where greater external change starts, with one person changing inside. And then another. And another. And another. Enough about that.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about my friend Michael. The one year anniversary of his death is approaching. I’ve gotten past a lot of the guilt I felt when it all first happened but as is the way of things, milestones have a way of bringing some of that back up. I can’t fathom the pain his family must feel. I’ve reached out but not nearly enough. That’s on me. Part of it is because I still can’t look his mother in the eye. Fear. Fear that I’ll see condemnation and blame. I know it’s not true. But sometimes it’s hard to quiet the voices in my head. Part of it is anger. Anger at the randomness of it all. People try to make you feel better by saying stupid things like “It’s God’s plan” or “He’s in a better place now” or my personal favorite “Some must die so that others can live.” What’s that shit about anyway? Why him? Why not me? He was a far kinder and gentler soul than I could ever hope to be. Ok, pity party done. Sorry you had to be a witness to that. Probably shouklda put some kinda warning up first.

It’s not all doom and gloom here in my little corner of this giant blue globe. I don’t think I’ve introduced you all to the newest member of the family – Gypsy aka Punkinhead aka 2014-05-31 21.36.54PunkyBruster aka Punkster. How is it that we take all the time and worry to give our pets exactly the right name and then proceed to come up with about 27 other things to call them. And yet somehow, they remember them all and know who you are talking about? She’s fearless this one is. First socialized kitten in over 20 years (all the others have been ferals) but she is turning out to be just as much of a lover as a feral. She loves to pick on her big brother who has on more than one occasion had to put the smack-down on her shenanigans. It took a while but after about 4 months, we’ve got our bedtime ritual back in place and things have quieted down. Although she does try to occasionally use me as a pick when playing with her brother. She’s small but has the biggest mouth and has no fear of using it if she can’t find me. Which is a rather ironic juxtaposition when compared to Peanut who is a 15 pound bruiser who needs to actually GAIN weight (big hoinkin tom) but has the tiniest little meow you ever heard. I guess Gypsy is a little like her Mommy. What she lacks in size she makes up for in personality. I still miss my little Gracie though. I’m not sure that’s a hurt that will ever really go away.

Heading to Philly soon for the annual trek to the women’s conference and then from there heading over to the west coast to see my oldest biological nephew graduate. I wasn’t able to see my oldest nephew and niece graduate high school because of a limit on seating so this will be special. I’m so proud of all of them. K is attending Pacific Lutheran, A is attending University of Oregon and C has chosen Portland State. That means I only have one more shot at getting a Longhorn in the family. So Operation M commences NOW. LOL. Actually, I’m just really proud of the young men and woman they have become. Now I know I’m a little biased but they really are good kids.

I went up there for Thanksgiving and was able to watch them all interact and was filled with such gratitude. I’m not gonna sit here and say that they’re perfect or anything like that – hell, A got written up 4 times in his first 10 days of college! (Which IS impressive in it’s own sort of way.) But at their core, they are good kids. They recognize that they are fortunate to have what they have and that so many other kids their age don’t have the advantages they do.

Finally, I’m really glad I got to see my sister. I was really nervous about going up there after the infamous 2012 Thanksgiving Day blowout. But we’e come a long way since then. We’ve done a lot of talking. We’ve allowed ourselves to be vulnerable to one another. We’ve avoided the cheap shots and the easy put downs and the harsh words that can’t be taken back. She’s changed a lot, my sister has. In a good way. She told me that while she used to get really pissed off when an accident on the road made her late for something, she realized that the people in the accident were probably having a lot worse day than she was. I wondered who I was talking to and what they had done with my sister. But she seems to have softened a bit. Found that having compassion doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong. What makes you weak is turning your back on someone who is suffering and saying “It’s not my problem” because deep down, you’re afraid that someday that person could be you.

Well, I guess I’ll wrap it up for now. Sorry there’s nothing really inspiring today. Just another day in the life of me. Not every day is wild ride and for that, I’m grateful. I knew today would be a good day because I got up. Think about it.

Peace,

Leslie

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