My heart

I am writing.  Sometimes it helps.  I am pushing my sorrow through my fingers and onto this virtual page.

When I was 11 years old in 1967, someone tried to kill me with a knife.  Some of my friends know this, some do not.  I was in the hospital for six days. I lived.

Two days before my 35th birthday in 1990, after trying to conceive for more than seven years, I thought I might die from the ectopic pregnancy that took my only baby.  I did not.

When I was 40, I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the neck – most likely my right tonsil.  I had a total of five surgeries, including a double tonsillectomy and a radical neck dissection on the same day, followed by thirty days of radiation.  Half of the people who had this cancer were dead in five years.  I was not.

Three and one-half years ago, I lie on the floor and wrapped my arms around a dog that I loved above just about all people and whispered into his precious ear while he left me.  My heart went with him for a long time.  But I got it back.

A little more than two years ago, I lost one of my best friends to suicide.  There. Are. No. Words.

And there is more; I’m just skimming off the top for comparison to tell you what happened yesterday is just as bad to me as all of those heartbreaking events.  My country betrayed me.  My social media posts during the last week said over and over again I believed the citizens of my country would do the right thing.   And I did believe it.  But that is over for me now, and it will stay over.  I will not trust again.  Almost half of the people in the United States voted for racism and against Blacks, Muslims, Jews, and Mexicans – anyone who is not white and male.  They gave the nod to misogyny.  They agreed it was OK to mock the handicapped.  They decided sexual assault and groping were not a problem, in fact a joke.  Racketeering – that’s OK too. They condemned the entire LGBT community.  They voted against the less fortunate.  They decided it was OK if poor people didn’t have insurance and were unable to get treatment if they were ill.  Life-and-death ill.  My country elected the most evil, ignorant, narcissistic, racist, deplorable public figure who has ever presented himself to us.

Martin Niemöller, a prominent pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, wrote several versions of this poem – this is one of the best known.

“When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me.”

This reflects what I see in our future.

So we woke up this morning to the reality of fear, if we slept at all last night.  I did not.  I have friends with children, indeed some have adopted minority children.  One child’s best friend is Muslim.  These parents, and many more, are struggling with what to tell their babies.  I cannot imagine.  I am an adult and I am terrified, truly bone-deep afraid.  I wonder if today I feel like black people feel, have always felt, and I feel shame for not realizing perhaps this is true.  I have always thought I was strong enough to protect those who needed protection.  I don’t feel like that today.  I am defeated.  But I am leaving on the back of my van, a small square Hillary forward arrow.  I will leave it there as a sign for people who may need help.  Like the ladies in the depression on whose fence post a hobo might draw a cat to show a kind woman lived there.  My father tells me his family wasn’t hungry during the depression. They were poor but they had a large, working farm – so they had food.  His mother kept a pot of soup going and fed anyone who was hungry.  Perhaps there was a cat drawn in front of her door.  The fish symbol thrived so people could find other Christians.  I’m keeping my H so people can find me.  I am terrified but I pledge to protect those who are less fortunate than I, those who fall into one of the compromised categories.  And there are many.  I promise I will do my best.  And to those who are not as fortunate as I have been, I will not forsake you.  I will not.  I will work to recover my true self and I will be brave again.  What has happened here is more important than one individual person and I will stand up and fight for you with every breath I have.  Soon.  I swear.  I can do no more.

My heart is broken.

 

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On inner peace and blogging and dying and sex. Oh my.

I love blogging.  It makes me about as happy as anything I do.  I thought about it for years and didn’t do it.  I don’t know why – I think I was afraid I had nothing to say – nothing worthwhile.  I was afraid I would run out of “stuff”, but I don’t think that is happening.  Not yet anyway.

This is my life.  This is my blog.  This is my expression of feelings.  This is me.  You don’t have to like me.  I would like it if you did but the other is OK too.

It’s my practice book, my true confessions, my intellectual and emotional vomit, my autobiography, my silly tales, my thoughts, hopes, dreams, my guts, my hurts, my triumphs and my disappointments – my story.

When I was a child I used to write fictional dialogue in my head all the time.  And I mean all the time.  In my mind, I turned all situations into stories – usually semi-autobiographical in nature, often dramatic, humorous, sarcastic or some combination thereof.

Now blogging is a little like that.  I don’t know anymore if I have it in me to write a big fictional story but I know I do have it in me to document my life and my feelings.  To explore and to learn.  Most of my blogs have been well-received and the more I write, the more I am read and I love that.  And I want to again say THANK YOU for reading.  I say it every time I put up a post and I mean it.  It is not something I say to “just be polite” but something that comes from my heart.  I appreciate each and every one of you who takes a few minutes out of your busy day to read what I have written.

I read an article on the internet recently about the “Top Five Regrets of the Dying“.  Here they are…

1.  I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2.  I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
3.  I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4.  I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5.  I wish that I had let myself be happier

I blog to share.  I blog to help myself not have any of these regrets and this writing I do here goes a long way toward eliminating 1 and 3.  And number 5 gets a kick too.  Blogging makes me happy and helps me to know what I need to be happier still.  I blog to throw my feelings out there and hopefully to find out if anyone else feels the same way.  This may be asking a lot of some.  I don’t think everyone wants their innermost feelings to be known.  But I do.  I hate secrets.  I think for the most part they are not healthy.  I think most of us have more in common than we will ever know because we don’t say what we feel.  I don’t think anyone will ever say that of me.  Ever.

Number 4 – I do pretty good at that one.  Always have.  I remember a few years back I tracked down someone with whom I was very good friends in the late 70’s when we lived in Florida.  I could tell she thought I was weird for calling her.  So that one didn’t go exactly as I had anticipated but that’s OK too.  I tried and I didn’t care that she thought it was strange.  I thought it was fun.

Number 2 – I have learned that one already.  I work hard now for me.  I will work hard for someone else too but I will not dedicate my life to an employer.  I will not become my profession.  I will be me.  Hard-working, good-humored, dedicated when I’m there.  Otherwise, I have a life.  A good one that I enjoy actually.  Do you know that old party game?  Who/what are you in five words?

I used to be
1.  Production Manager

The other 4 didn’t really matter to me.  Some variation of wife, dog-mother, daughter, sister, friend, lover, girlfriend, aunt, reader, cook, traveler, Faux-French, gardener…  But Production Manager came first.

Now it is not that way.  I’m not sure what I am first but I do know that nothing I am has to do with an employer.  And that has gone a long way toward my overall self-improvement plan.  And my inner peace.

Which reminds me of another thing.  A long time ago – probably about 15 years – an old beau asked me what I wanted for my birthday.  I said Sex and Inner Peace.  He gave me sex and a mani/pedi gift certificate.  Both well appreciated by me.  His birthday was shortly after mine and he wanted the same thing.  Not the mani-pedi.

Hopefully I will be lucky enough to continue on my path of enlightenment and self-improvement for many more years to come.  That does sound hokey but I don’t know what else to call it.  And I do believe it.  My newest frontier – aging.  I have had to look at aging a lot lately.  My parents are getting older.  Some of my friends have deceased parents.  One aspect of my life I’m not enjoying a real lot.  So I’m just going to work on having no regrets and attaining inner peace.  And more sex.  That’ll keep me cheery.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bronnie-ware/top-5-regrets-of-the-dyin_b_1220965.html