The things I should remember

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I have been thinking about, and talking about, my parents a lot lately.  For a person my age, it is sad that I have to talk about how they used to be because they were taken far too early, both victims of the serial killer known as alcoholism.  I wrote a very heartfelt blog post here telling the tale of what my perspective was like growing up as a child of alcoholic parents.  But after I read it again, and cried again, I realized I had been doing them a grave injustice.

So, I went back to the beginning – back to the days before that serial killer lurked in the shadows of my house, back to the days when life was great and back to the days when no elephant existed in any room in our home.

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My mom and dad were a lot of fun.  My brother and I had many parties at our family home and my parents would remain in their bedroom allowing us full access to the house to host our friends.  But at the end of the night, the number of our friends watching TV with my parents in their room far outweighed the number of our friends in our living room.  Those were my parents.

They played strip ping-pong with the neighbours.  They ran naked from the neighbours’ sauna to roll in the snow and then back to the sauna.  They enjoyed life, they made the most of the good times and they truly loved each other.

When I began to think of what they were like as a couple, I couldn’t help but smile remembering how my dad used to look at my mom.  If my mom was within arm’s length, his hands would make contact with whatever part of her he could reach.  He would pat her bum as she walked by him.  He would kiss her every chance he got.  And when he grabbed her hand, I could see his hand physically squeezing hers several times in a sworn gesture of being smitten by her.  It was all about being able to touch each other, just to remind each other that they were there for the right reasons.

I had long forgotten those moments.  I was so marred by the effects that alcohol had on their relationship that I failed to remember the beautiful connection they had to each other.

And now that I have blinded myself to the painful memories, I will embrace the images of their fingers intertwined without realizing they were holding hands.  I will cling to the thought of how my dad just wanted to be close to her.  And I will forever hold close the knowledge that a simple touch from someone who means so much can change everything about your day.

After so many daily thoughts about so many things that don’t matter, I finally realized…..these are the things that I should remember.

 

 

 

 

I cry a thousand tears

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cry

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A thousand tears have fallen

and saturated my face.

Keeping alive the memories

that time will never erase.

Salient thoughts burden my brain,

each with a life of their own,

keeping me close to my ardent emotion,

my sadness never far from home.

A rushing wave of sorrow,

an eclipse of what was good,

 trying to find the buoy of happiness,

in the sea of misunderstood.

Embracing loss, moving on,

clinging to what I hold dear.

Knowing that the emotion I feel,

others keep just as near.

I cry a thousand tears,

knowing I am not alone,

 and I hold tight to those who cry with me,

 feeling that they are my home.

(image credit)

Beyond the open door

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On Friday night, I stared at this painting for a long time.  It hangs in a conspicuous spot in a familiar room but I had never seen it before.  Perhaps it was the shaded lighting of the late evening that made me study every detail in those brush strokes or, quite possibly, it was the collection of components in the painting that intrigued me, but every single item on that canvas made me linger and give it thought.

From the cracked tiled floor to the chance assortment of belongings, each item was distinct and gave me the feeling that any one of those things could feasibly represent a chapter in my life story.  That thought made me stare even more as I tried to piece together the narrative that the artist was trying to communicate.

I got a strong sense of the feeling of wanting to stay connected.  There is great comfort in keeping familiar things close.  But there is also the fascination of what may exist beyond our comfort zone.

That open door is the focal point that grabbed and held my attention.  In a room full of things seemingly collected on purpose, this door opened my curiosity.  What magic or what memory lay beyond that partially opened portal?  What is there to be found if we are brave enough to push it open all the way and take a chance on what is on the other side?

Sometimes being complacent with the things we have become accustomed to blinds us to what may lie just beyond the threshold of our comfort zone.  Maybe the memorabilia in the foreground is meant to alleviate any pain while it draws us towards the next step.

There is a warmth in just having things fit into the right place and having that place feel like home. But maybe the real feeling of home is just a few steps away and we just have to walk through that door to discover the hidden treasures that await us if we are brave enough to explore the possibilities.

 

All of the things I did

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toes in the water

I am not here to just put my toes in the water.

I am here to cannonball off a spring-board,

fully plunging into the deep end.

I am not here to simply smell the flowers.

I am here to roll through the meadow,

to give in to careless abandon,

and to saturate myself in their fragrance.

I am not here to be a guest in my own life.

I am here to live purposely,

to breathe deeply the essence of this life,

because I know, all too well, that life is short.

And at the end of my journey through this lifetime,

all of the things I did,

and all of the life I inhaled,

will hopefully served to remind me,

that I lived a deliberate life and that I made a difference.

(image credit)

fiction249

Making the right things different

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“We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love.  It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love the changed person.” ~ W. Somerset Maugham


I love stories of couples who have been together for decades, who celebrate year after year together and still maintain that bond of love and friendship.  My grandparents had it, my parents had it and my brother has it.  I have not been able to weather that change with as much success as they have but that truth does not make me sad.

The most basic definition of change is to make something different.  That is how the dictionary categorizes change and I have been through many circumstances in my life that have caused me to become different.  Sadly, or perhaps not, I was unable to continue relationships with certain loves because I became a changed person.  I had grown from experience, I had aged from knowledge and I had matured from the lessons of my reality.

I am, decidedly, not the same person this year as last.  There is an underlying intensity to me that I had never previously possessed.  There is a confidence, a slow-burning belief in myself, that is gradually being fueled by the understanding of my recently discovered strengths.  And that person did not exist while I was in those past relationships.  That person slowly transformed from chrysalis to butterfly, evolved from the person I used to be, and changed into the person I am now.

Butterfly Emerging

Certainly it would be a happy coincidence if we are fortunate enough to mature together and to be able to love that changed person in our lives and grow in the same direction.  But it would no fault of either person if that change took different trajectories.

People change.  Ideals change.  Love changes.  Our job is to decide whether we, being the person we are now, are still able to love that changed person or whether we need to make a change for ourselves.

(image credit)

2 Kisses I shall give you

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sunrise-18a

In the wee hours of the morning,

her visits often happen then,

the charge in the air is palpable

and sleep is still in my head.

Her message hangs heavily in the air,

the words are always the same.

“Two kisses I will give you,

to help get you through your day.

 One kiss is to give you courage,

to help you save the world.

The other kiss is to help protect you

from the curve balls that life will hurl”.

Her words soothe me and give me peace

in the last moments of my sleep.

And on my cheeks, as I face the world,

two kisses I shall keep.

(image credit: santabanta)

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This was originally posted in 2014, but I swear I could feel them on my cheeks this morning.