Secrets

Today I sat in a hospital room, surrounded by the sterile environment I had learned to hate, to fear. In a not so distant past, a childhood not so far from me, I to was in need of cleansing. This though, is different. This, is my child. The heart of my heart. I wanted to cover him with me. I needed that. Tonight an ambulance drove away with my son. To a sterile place. No curtains no string. No guns, razors or glass. No privacy. Tonight he is without me, but also without the means to take his own life. 

For you my son….

Hello. I’m sure you’re not asleep. I know you’re laying there staring at your hands, wondering if you will ever have the chance to hurt the man, once a child, that raped you…again and again. I know that pain. That loss. My words will never be enough to heal you, no matter how many are here…this time, I just can’t do it alone. I heard you. I know you hate me right now and that’s okay because so do I. I have nightmares of you being chased, and I am unable to save you, to give you warmth and love, safety and peace. I can’t do anything. Much like you, I just don’t know what to do or who to be or even who I am anymore. If I was the kind of person who could take a life it would be his, for you. I was blessed to feel your heart beat next to mine, to smell you and hold you as close as one ever could. And for you I would kill, and right now, I wish I was that kind of human being. 

My sweet son, my love, I’m sorry you’re where you are. That I cannot make you better, make you forget, make you whole, is my failure to own. It was never and will never be yours. You are so brave, beyond and measure you are the courage I need now. For you I am still awake. I am here. I am here for you. 

Please don’t die. I know you want to. I know you’re in there, somewhere, under the pain, waiting to live again. I love you. I miss you. I love you so much my heart is truly, and completely, beating for you. I, will always be here, for you, heart of my heart.

Love, Me.

I am angry. I want to hurt him, make him bleed for what he has done. I want him to feel all the pain, to rip his innocence from him and I want him to be wrapped in my sons shame, rage, and fear. I want….I want this to be over. 
There is no amount of surrender I can give to this. I don’t want to. There is no forgiveness. My family is broken. Now, at least, I suppose, we know when the broken pieces fell for our son and where we can begin a new life…unknown but new. That has to be something right? That’s all I have…I don’t know what to say to my precious child. The child who’s photos are throughout our home. Looking at them, I can see when it started, I can see the pain. I feel the pain. I can hear the screams and it cuts me, bleeds me dry. This new and unknown is what I have. I’ll take it. I’ll take it because it means my son is still here, and I will not sit by and allow him to be a victim a moment longer. 

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Murderer

Like wind blowing across hot dry sand my memories are fleeting

But the stones so heavily in place keep the things I want to forget 

As if branded like cattle before slaughter

They are always here

When I thought like a child I had two abortions. 

When I felt like an adult I made decisions that scarred my womb, my heart, forever.
The thought of what I was about to do, the life I knew I was about to end, made me ill. I threw up all the medication they gave me, and because I didn’t show them my vomit and flushed it, they refused more meds and told me I’d be fine. I wasn’t. I felt the life they took on my behalf. I felt the tearing as my eyes welled, and tried to get away. They held me down. They did an ultrasound, and found more of my unborn, and held me down again while they leaned up the mess I had made, and vacuumed out what was left of my aching heart. 

I lay there, and imagined what my birth mother chose not to do to me. For the first time in my life I was truly thankful for the life I had, and thankful that she didn’t have to endure the same pain I was in. 

I was alone.

I took a pill that was meant for abortions at under seven weeks. I went in for an ultrasound. The nurse took my lies while looking at my womb, grey and alive. She took them and made them her own and signed papers giving me permission to abort at home. 

I took the pill, alone, on a spring morning. I sat on a toilet as my body spasmed when the medicine kicked in. I cried. I held my body close. I was alone with my choice. Alone with yet another life I CHOSE to take. My body bore a tiny life, in which I gathered up in a specimen jar, and placed in a bag, in a freezer, in a doctors hands, in a trash can for human waste, in a burning pit, deep deep in my soul. 

I knew the lives I took. I felt their end. I love them even now. 

Alone.

For a Heart that is sick…

There is a little girl, not quite three, dying of stage four cancer. Her parents are friends of a fellow infantryman my husband is close with. 

Her heart may be ravaged by this terrible disease, but her smile shines bright when the police officers stop by and visit. Her time on this earth is short and her mom would like to make her a gift…a quilt of police badges, blue and bright, to keep her safe on lonely nights.

If you have a spare or know someone who may give a badge to place on this blanket of love, email me at bitslittleblog@gmail.com and I will give you my address. I will then forward it to the family. Thank you friends!

Where Water Meets the Fire

The worlds gone mad

Flash

Bang

This is not 

The world

I imagined 

Living in

Time

Stands still

The calm

Before

The storm

My world

Is filled

With joy

And peace

With love

With hope
It runs deep
With hate
Follow me 

Some cry

For me 

I will stand

I won’t 

Sit by

As lives are taken

As my

Child

Within

Fears for

My child with out

Safety

Peace

Quiet

Calm

Voices of

Those 

Who fight

To make their world

A better place

Place me here

Above the noise

I choose 

A life

Without 

Violence

Creeping

To my door

Fogging 

The glass

To see 

Through 

The window

To feel that

Light

For my children

And theirs 

I say

Love

I say

Love

As Petals Fall, So do We

I do not know how to hate

A person 

For the color

Of their skin

Or their choice of faith

I do not understand

The seething rage

That lies within others

Are we all not woven 

From the same tapestry

One of vibrant color

Each strand a different story

All together creating 

That which blankets 

The earth

I do not see

Your shades of brown, red, nude, tattoos

I do not see your denomination or lack there of

I see what it covers

Not so different 

Never the same

No color

No hate

***My thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered loss on both sides of the police brutality equation – Those taken before their time at the hands of someone designated to protect them and those who have died protecting us in all the right ways. Bravery knows no color.***

What the Media Takes Away

Please read this post by my friend and fellow blogger Deb. Her perspective of the last few days of violence and the media circus surrounding it has given me perspective. Her words are touching and filled with truth..and I can’t find my own words just yet.

https://deborah-bryan.com/2016/07/07/policemen-let-names-be-names/

Stuck at the Gate

I arrived home, realizing I’d been avoiding my mailbox like the plague. My life has been busy lately, and busy tends to be translated as anxious x10 to my worrisome mind.

I killed our lawn mower. My husband killed our SUV and my van nearly died. All in that order over a three week period. While I’d like to say I handled this and the heating element of my dryer also dying with grace and patience…I did not. (But I sure thought I did!) It’s was all well and good until I showered a few nights ago. Then the tears fell – over my inability to use the soap dispenser with my ‘write’ hand. I sat down and sobbed, which made it worse, which made me sadder still. (Holy shit it’s been a ride. So glad I can’t repeat the past.)

Air drying towels and jeans should be a sin. There’s nothing I hate more than crispy towels and crunchy jeans. I can only compare it to stale cereal. Just yuck.

Anyway. That’s not what this is about.

In my mailbox was a letter…from my mother. Her cursive writing that spelled out my name and address made me feel heavy, like a laundry basket full of wet towels. I just placed it under my arm, walking inside feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders…

As I opened the envelope and pulled out the card I could see through the light blue background more cursive, more wordy thoughts, more glaring, dead references about my life, because judging is what she has always seemed to do best when it came to me. There wasn’t a bit of space left. Words were everywhere.

Not now I thought. I just can’t. I put the baby to sleep. I did dishes, folded clothes. I could not forget I’d gotten it.

Mom wrote…

Dear Bits, I was in a car accident in December in Portland. I was on my way to see my friend, my best friend since preschool. She took her own life. I didn’t know. It happened in October, but her husband hadn’t told anyone. He sent my Christmas card back, writing on the back that she’d passed. I called him and he told me everything. Just so sad.

I felt like the world had swallowed me up. 

I felt like an asshole.

I felt like a selfish asshole.

I read the rest. Out of guilt, out of remorse, and because my shame compelled me to.

Deep breath. It’s just words right?

My mothers parting lines – 

I want to ask your forgiveness and begin the restoration of our mother/daughter relationship. Let us cross over the bridge together that has kept our relationship apart, and move forward.

In my 35 years of life, not once has she said ‘I’m sorry’ for the things she’s done. Though she raised me to say it, believe it, bleed that forgiveness from every sorry pore.

I’m not ready

Deep breath

I don’t want to put away that list

The one filled with pain

Of abuse and manipulation

That one that keeps me here

Standing at the gate

My mother, filled with religion, with blame

The abyss I see just before the bridge she asks me to cross with her

I can’t

I know I should. I know that. Everything I have ever been taught, by her no less, has shown me it’s better, easier, right to cross that bridge. Everything , every Thing she’s ever done has only led me to a road void of love, and laden with the pot holes of her heavy hand, my burden to lay bare here.

Here is where I admit I hate the things she did/didn’t do. My own seething anger for all the times she beat the shit out of us because she wasn’t stable, able, willing to love – it leaves a taste of bitter fruit. The thought of letting go is at first so enticing, until a bite is taken and the drip of reality hits my palette. I can’t…

…But I will.

For Just One Day…

I don’t remember the last Fathers Day I spent with my dad, but I’m imagining it was great. He would have oohed and such at the silly things we’d made for him. He would have made a drink to celebrate the occasion, and by 3pm would’ve needed a nap. I can’t remember the name I gave him for writing in my blog, but his real name was Edward. To all he was Ed. That tall and lanky man with a beautiful laugh and snarky attitude. He never met a screwdriver he didn’t enjoy and he never met my two youngest children.

When I was very young Ed made me a swing set, and I remember him lining up nails, laid on their sides so that I could hammer on them with my favorite whittled stick.

Once, when my mother was away, Ed decided to make us a treehouse. Using just one nail for each piece of wood leading to the planks that were to be our fort, and my insistence on climbing up first – I got to the second board and slid/fell/smacked my way down. Scraped and bleeding Dad picked me up. Holding me close he ran inside and with mom not there to nurse my wounds, he tried to take the pain away. My brother sat in living room, watching as Ed gave me wet hand towels to dab the cuts, while he warmed up spaghetti-o’s. When that didn’t take the sting away dad gave me a Popsicle. A banana Popsicle. That is a tradition in our house nowadays. Cut cleaning and cold treats make for easy bandaid placement. 
Once when Ed took us camping it rained so hard that the military surplus tent collapsed from the weight, and we had to sleep in the old suburban. My brother and I, in our matching baseball jackets were just terrified by the darkness. Dad was our comfort, and gave us a flashlight and chewy watermelon candy to ease our fears. 

We use to visit old cemeteries with Ed. He loved the history, and reading old headstones, and pulling weeds away from a final resting place. One day I will do the same for him.

(I look up as I type this, and in our yard is a five point buck. He’s a beautiful specimen. I think to myself that perhaps Dad has sent him for me. The deer is staring at me. The dogs, for now, don’t smell him. I wonder if God sent the deer, reminding me that He’s never far, always with me.)

My memories of my Father Ed, though mostly faded, tattered by time and a life taken too soon by alcohol and depression, are with me here. They are in my heart, my mind. And though I try to focus on the good there is a very small part that feels that twinge of pain about all he missed, I missed, we missed as a family. 

I chose to share his name here, with you, my friends/family, because today I miss the speghetti-o’s, and I miss his smile. I wanted him to meet all my children and take them camping, build them a tree house, make them laugh. But really, I want him to call me Honey again. I want him here.

I love you Dad. Happy Fathers Day.

Love, Freedom, Choice

I woke up weeping at 4:03am yesterday.

It was the kind of sadness one feels when there is loss which cannot be measured.

I looked around my room.

Baby, husband…

I wandered my house…all accounted for.

There is a heaviness in my soul for those who will wander their halls looking for their children.

They wake weeping for those they love.

I’m sure they search for answers as they view the empty bed, the deafening quiet.

I mourn with you. I cry for you. 

I was driving home with my husband and our youngest last night.

To the left, was the most vibrant rainbow.

Behind it was the dark and turbulent sky.

I thought of the young woman’s face I saw on television.

She was killed by a man who pledged to take her life.

Taken from this world by a monster.

A monster that craved vengeance above understanding.

I imagined what she would have given to this world.

My eyes filled with tears that burned my eyes.

May her face and all victims of terrorism not be forgotten.

*****

We all know what’s to come. No one is immune to the hatred that follows us, our freedom, our choice. 

A woman on the news begged to know where her son was. She didn’t distinguish life or death, just the need to know something, anything, about her child.

Young men and women carry a wounded friend away from the carnage, away from the death in hopes that he would survive.
The scenario repeated on our own soil is one I see often in the news from (not so) far away lands like Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, etc. They are at war, and it can only make sense to come to an understanding as a country, unified, that WE are at war. 

While people die we watch and hope it gets better. 
While mourners gather, we sit and watch.

I believe that every human being has the right to live a life of freedom, safety, and choice. 

I believe that every human being has the responsibility to do their part to make this world a safe place for those that cannot be free, do not have safety, and aren’t allowed to choose their own path.

I believe that freedom, our freedom, comes at a price. I see it daily. Hourly. The safety so many of us take for granted is being paid for by those who fight behind enemy lines, and ironically give up that same freedom to do it. With this freedom we as Americans have, there will always be those individuals, whether home or abroad, that want what we have or want to take it from us. They choose that. Let us not follow in their foot steps and choose to hate, vilify, and isolate. Let our lights shine brighter, show the victims and their families we are going to do more than just watch and sit idly by. Do something.

Just talking about these things solves absolutely nothing. No matter your views – if you want them to matter, to make change…get up and vote. Protest what you find wrong with this country and support the values you hold dear. If we don’t, we have no one to blame but the person staring back at us in the mirror. ***

Remember Why

 

General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, promulgated General Order No. 11, which was the first official promulgation of Memorial Day. General Order No. 11 provided that flowers be placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers on May 30, 1868.
“Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

President Ronald Reagan remarked on a Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery –
“…the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others.”
President Reagan on the soldiers of the Viet Nam War –
“They chose to be faithful. They chose to reject the fashionable skepticism of their time. They chose to believe and answer the call of duty … They seized certainty from the heart of an ambivalent age; they stood for something.” “We owe them something, those boys … a promise to look at the world with a steady gaze and, perhaps, a resigned toughness, know that we have adversaries in the world and challenges and the only way to meet them and maintain the peace is by staying strong.”

Unfortunately, the ravages of time have yielded not only neglect, but also forgetfulness. In 1971, the fatal error occurred – the Uniform Monday Holiday Act fixed the celebration of Memorial Day to the last Monday of May. Congress, botching up its own creation, corrupted it with a three-day weekend. The “most sacred day of the year” was perverted into an empty excuse for barbecues, sales, and mini-vacations.
(Judge Michael Warren/Co-Creator of Patriot Week)

 

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Now that you have a brief history about Memorial Day, I’d appreciate your indulgence for a few more paragraphs…

To those misguided but life-loving souls that protest what our country was built upon and is still protected by – please remember that the sales you’re shopping this coming weekend were built upon those same graves, same loss, same love, same dedication to something/someone greater than themselves.

The bigger picture if you will, is that every service member who dies while enlisted CHOSE that. They chose our Republic and what they feel it should stand for. Their choice was/is one of such selflessness, bravery, honor. The fallen deserve more than just a day but for just one day please, please acknowledge that what you/we have is because someone you may never know fought for it. Blood, sweat, tears.

To those who’s family members have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom to love who we choose, live how we choose, God Bless You. You’re loved ones are never far from my family, our prayers, our time. We love you. We are here for you. Come what may – war and peace – we will never turn away from you.

 

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To those who will enjoy a three day weekend, a barbecue with family/friends, enjoy it. Be present for every moment. Stand in awe of what you have and take a little time to be remember  WHY you have your little bit of heaven.

“I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and Support and Defend these states. Yet, through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means.” – John Adams (1776)

 

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