Past The Depths Of Hell

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I’ve been past the depths of hell

These last 18 months

Changing myself

And trying to make you happy

You have happily filleted my heart

Scraping out my innards

As you lifted my soul out of my middle-aged body

And held it up for the world to see

I’ve been past the depths of hell

Down further than one

Ought to go without proper diving gear

I’ve been awash on a sea of tears

That could have floated an ocean liner

Tears of sorrow, frustration, and anger

A body dragged across the sandy floor

Leaving raw, mangled meat

Hanging on the bone

The shark circling in for the kill

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I’ve been past the depths of hell

Losing myself while trying to please you

Carrying your burdens first

While dragging mine behind

Sleepless nights

Etching my face with fine lines

I look like I’ve aged 18 years

Instead of 18 months

I’ve been past the depths of hell

I mourn what was

I mourn what is to come

I mourn for our innocent children

I mourn for our marriage

Which was only an illusion

Like you-illusionist

Like me-the mind reader

You settling for something

You knew you didn’t want

Along time ago

But didn’t have the guts to say what

You needed or wanted

Until the resentments rose up

And rolled the ship under

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I’ve been past the depths of hell

And I’ve going down for another dive

But this time when I surface

I will be all alone

And divorce will bear my name

Holding onto my tattered mind

And a body that spent

Thirty years

Loving you

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One Of THOSE Posts

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This weekend our cousin died in an automobile accident. She was 29 years-old, newly married, and had a three year-old daughter. For her family it is a tragedy that defies understanding or words. For her husband and daughter it is incomprehensible loss in which parts of their lives will never be able to be restored. For the rest of us it has shaken us to the marrow of our being because we have lost such a wonderful woman which just reinforces how fleeting life can be. How random things are. How we really never know when our number is up and how scary that can be.

Sometimes I wonder that if you knew you had 24 hours to live whether it would be a good thing or a bad one?  Would it be wonderful to have the time to say your goodbyes, express your love, and to impart your wisdom? Would death be a tad scary if it all boiled down to 1440 minutes? Would being surrounded by loved ones make that fear disappear?

Obviously, V didn’t know she would die on Saturday. She woke up happy and carefree after having a date night with her husband. Life was looking good as she was going to pick up her daughter from her mother’s house.  And then, just like that, she rounded a curve and she was gone.

Did she leave the house planting a kiss on her husbands check? Does her husband wish he had if he didn’t? And how often have I left my house irritated instead of in a loving mood? What would my family’s last impression of me be the majority of the times that I have stepped outside of my front door? Would they have the good to remember or the bad? Would they feel guilty for the rest of their lives because our last words were not the words we would have said if we had known that they were the last words we would ever say to one another? It gives me pause to think about the ending of life in this way.

And so, yes, this is one of THOSE posts. A gentle reminder that we never really know when our time is up. A “go hug your kids” kind of post. Have sex with your spouse kind of post. A wake-up call to phone your mother. A take out the trash because you love your dad post. It is a post that calls attention to the fact that what we do today really does matter because it may be the last thing we are remembered by the people that mean the most to us.

Amen (so be it)

 

Hands

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When I walked into the room it was her hands that I noticed first. Fingers tapping, moving and pulling at the invisible threads of her tightly woven pink blanket. Hands that never stopped the entire time I knew her. Hands that told her story, even now, when she couldn’t.  She once told me, “Idle hands are the devils workshop” and as a result she made sure that hers were never still.

When she was young, it was her smooth hands that grabbed onto the teats of the family cow, filling the pails with warm milk every morning and evening for the next 12 years. Hers were the fingers that took the reins and drove the buggy two miles to the school that lay in the middle of Brown’s field; a half-dozen children crammed onto the seat beside her. And for years magical sounds floated from her fiddle as her fingers ran up and down its neck until Jason Riddle sat on it and silenced it forever.

Hers were hands that pulled squat potatoes from the rich brown earth and threaded earthworms onto shaggy sharp hooks in hopes of luring lunch from the icy-cold stream banks. She could always  be found with dirt under her nails except when she was pulling babies out of the wombs of her friends, neighbors and kin folk. Three hundred twenty-eight to be exact, always lifting them up and into the light of their lives, hands wrapped around the slimy bundles gently but just firm enough to keep hold.

They were fingers that where pricked with hundreds of needles over the years as she sewed dresses from flour sacks, made blankets from cat tails, and crafted the rag rugs that she was famous for creating; the colors dyed from the coneflowers, lilacs, and wild plum root that she gathered from deep in the woods. And they were fingers that knitted and crocheted hundreds of the blankets used by local babies, now stuffed in the back of closets and considered to be antiques.

Her fingers were the ones that shined shoes, swept the rough wooded floor boards, and tucked her children into bed and took them off to dream land as stories flew from her mouth while her hands painted the images in the sky.

These were hands, palms, and arms that were scarred from welding bomb heads at the Richmond Engineering Company during WWII. Hands that worked 12 hours shifts day-in and day-out; only to be told when the men returned home that the services of those nimble fingers were no longer needed. But still they were incapable of rest.

They were palms that prayed for everyone in town at least once, were always seated in the 4th pew on the right in church and were lifted on high as she celebrated her Lord. Fingers that could flick from Bible verse to Bible verse in a split second and could be counted to give your hands a sharp squeeze during the Pass The Peace part of the service; the part that came before the long-winded sermon of the minister.

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These were the now gnarled hands laced with nicks and cuts. One from the time she accidentally got her hand too close to the meat grinder when she was making her secret recipe sausage and one from the time she touched the wood stove with her bare hands. There were scars made from paring knives as she removed the peels from the Granny Smiths apples, the only apple deemed fit to use in the 1,000 deep-dish pies that she made during her lifetime. And of course, there were scars gained from chasing the chickens and beheading them for the countless Sunday dinners to which the homeless and lonely were always welcome.

I looked over at those still moving hands. It seemed strange to see the pink nail polish (Revlon #28 Hibiscus) perfectly painted on her nails; a concession she made to old age and institutional food; her fingers no longer needed to pull stalks from the earth and shake clods of dirt from round deep purple beets that used to dominate her garden. Two years ago she was convinced by the beautician that beautiful nails were the gateway to heaven and her age she decided she would concede her personal beliefs on the subject and do whatever it took to get there; even if in her day girls who painted their nails were hussies.

“You can go now,” I whispered.

It took a while but finally she did, her fingers still twitching, as the rest of her body slipped into an eternal sleep… her hands the last thing to become idle… the devil missing its chance again.

 

Regrets

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption-Sinatra

Throughout my life I have tried to live a life of few regrets. In some regards I have succeeded spectacularily and in other aspects I have failed miserably. But since I have the immense need to make amends and dispense advice before I board that plane for China on Monday; I have decided to inform my children what my biggest regret in the world is with the hope that they will try to do better for themselves than I was able to do for myself.

Regrets are tricky things. If you are fearful, regrets are often too few because you never have taken yourself out of your comfort zone enough to do much of anything that might cause you distress or regret. In fact, often your regret is that you had no regrets because you played it safe. On the other hand, going off pell-mell-willy-nilly without thinking things through, well, in the worse case it can lead to tragic results. Yet, in the best of instances in can involve seeing your name in the police blotter of your local paper for something people will talk about long after you are dead and gone. Personally, I think it is prudent to shoot for the notorious remembrances that don’t involve jail cells or lawyers.

It often takes chutzpah to admit your failures and gain insight on how you might do better in the future which is exactly what a regret should serve to do. It takes more than brutal honesty to dig deep to examine your shortfalls. It often takes courage and really listening to the people you love the most as they dish about what they love about you the least.  And so in that spirit I have decided to share my biggest regret which is this… that I have not been as GENTLE as I wish I had been during the days I have walked this earth.

Frankly…I wish I had been more gentle with my words, more gentle with the tone of my voice, and gentler when giving advice. I wish I would have been more gentle by holding my tongue, gentler in my touch, and that I would have been softer with my facial expressions. I wish I would have provided more plentiful and gentle/nurturing hugs, held my children more tenderly than I did, and that I would have gently laid down the law without malice or anger. I wish my first reaction to that first spark of anger would have been one of gentle compassion to myself and the other involved by refusing to allow the spark to turn into a bonfire and by allowing myself to listen in the hopes of greater understanding. I wish I would have understood that there are so many things that you will be remembered for throughout your life and I wish I would have appreciated the fact that if you are living well that the best thing people can remember you for your gentle/loving nature.

One of the gentlest individuals I can think of is Mr. Rogers. He once said, “I’m convinced that when we help our children find healthy ways of dealing with their feelings–ways that don’t hurt them or anyone else–we’re helping to make our world a safer, better place.”  I wish I had taken these words to heart when I first starting raising children. Had I understood that my reactions set the stage for my children’s reactions now and in the future, I’d like to think I would have taken the time to develop gentleness and all it entails. I also think it would have been awesome to have really understood that to help our children deal with their feelings we have to be gentle with our own. I wish I had known that way back then too.

Gentleness is important. It is a calming influence. Gentleness is merciful, compassionate and kind. It is also wise, dignified and considerate.

Perhaps Max Lucado describes gentleness best when he says “I choose gentleness… Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.”

Gentleness…its something we could all use a little more of as we go about our busy lives. Perhaps in practicing it we can become it. That is my wish.

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Sex… And On Being A COLD B****

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Okay, I leave for Tibet/Mt. Everest on Monday. I am still terrified of going. Why? I have no clue. I have traveled so many places and never have I experienced the sense of doom I have regarding this trip. In fact, this sense of death is so foreboding that I gave my girlfriend my password to my blog with instructions on what to write should something bad come to pass. If I could, I would up the amount on my life insurance too but at my age that would take a overnight fast, a blood draw and numerous other personal questions that I would have to lie about should I be asked. And just to make this absolutely clear…this sense of doom has NOTHING to do with B… just airplanes, icy goat roads that when you look down its 1000 ft to the bottom, freak snow storms and COLD. BITTER COLD.COLD SO COLD that a word hasn’t been invented for it yet.

So what does one take to Everest in the middle of winter? Who the hell knows… but I have come to suspect that a dash of crazy is probably useful if not mandatory. Better yet…a jigger of vodka which you are cautioned not to drink (makes the altitude sickness worse). Yet, if pressed, I would have to say that the most important thing about being at the Everest Base Camp in the middle of winter is for you to be warm NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES. Unfortunately, if the past dictates the present, one might say that when I am cold I revert to the personality of a full-on bitchy badger. Yep, where I am concerned: cold =trouble=misery=down-low-bitchy-self.

Since we are going on this trip to celebrate the fact that we have managed to stay together despite B’s pronouncement that he might want a divorce back in July; I have decided that in order to remain married I will need to convince myself that I am in the middle of the desert when in fact I am in the middle of a snow storm with air so thin that just taking in oxygen wears you down and out. So to keep the peace and to promote harmony and ditto that “good will” stuff; I have invested an obscene amount of warm weather gear and “feel-good-about-going” stuff including:

  • One warm -40 weather degree parka from Land’s End snagged for $136 on sale (not sexy)
  • A blacava (sexy in a bank-robbing-bad-girl sort of way)
  • 2 pairs of light thermals in black (sexy…black makes me look 10 pounds thinner)
  • 2 pairs of arctic thermals (sexy if you are a bear)
  • 1 fleece lined pair of pants/shirt (sexy if your mate is a sasquatch)
  • 1 pair of mens polar arctic under your pants wear (sexy if your mate is a gay man and he thinks you are too)
  • 5 pairs of heavy socks (I’m too sexy for my socks!)
  • 1 pair down mittens that have proven not to keep me warm at night in the middle of the CA desert (might prove useful for certain hand work)
  • A second pair of special hand mittens to fit in said down mittens (sexy for that more intricate hand work)
  • 5 paris of chemical hand warmers (I’ll let you see mine if you let me see yours)
  • 5 large patch body warmers (I need to check if there is a warning on where NOT to put them)
  • 5 pairs of chemical foot warmers (for playing footsie)
  • special caches of toilet paper (come on… my world would cease to exist in a meaningful way without the stuff and I would NEVER shake your hand without knowing there is some around)
  • thing-a-ma-jigs that you put over your boots so you can walk safely on ice (hmmmmm…new sex toy?)
  •  I am trying to find waterproofing for my boots (which would be sexy if you sprayed it all over your body and jumped in a pool)
  • Three accidental life insurance policies (sexy if you are the beneficiary)
  • One evacuate you out on a helicopter insurance policy (sexy if you are doubled over in pain and know there a good drugs when you land)
  • One foreign hospitalization policy (sexy in certain countries)
  • One water bottle with water filter (clean water is sexy water)
  • Various antibiotics, car sickness pills and stop-the-poop pills of various sizes and colors
  • A small diary to write a note to my children should the need arise (not sexy but isn’t anything involving your children is anything but sexy)

 

There. Now you know all the thinking that has been involved for the past three weeks and if you saw me with all this warm wear on you would think I look like an terrifying 300 pound arctic snow beast. Even worse for B, there is no such thing as sexy lingerie that comes in flannel, down or polar fleece.

Frankly, what I have come to realize is that this was an impulse vacation for the hubby and I don’t think B thought this whole thing through. If he wanted sex (which he always does) I would have thought he would have picked a deserted island with a clothing optional theme but Everest in the winter…in a tent or monastery…well, I would have to guess that his chances are about as good as when hell freezes over. Sexy and Everest…they just don’t fit together…and it is doubtful that we will either!

*** Oh…Happy Birthday, Mom. Ironic that I would be posting this on a blog that has B**** in the title because you never were one. Not once. You were a kind gentle soul who suffered much heartbreak over your short 50 years. Hard to believe you have been gone 30 years now. At times I still miss you desperately but rest assured  when a smile still lights up my face I am most probably thinking of you. Gone but never forgotten.***

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If I Die- My Advice To My Boys

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For about the past ten years whenever I travel I tend to freak out before I go. While I never used to be… I am now scared of flying. My family expects this of my now and laugh at my trepidation. I originally told B I was not going to China with him because I had an overwhelming feeling of dread. So now, as I contemplate this trip I have decided I need to leave my sons my thoughts on what I think contributes to living a good life just in case I trip on a yak and fall to my death on Everest. I thought of all of these things off of the top of my head instead of consulting the internet so that is probably why the list is what it is.

For P, A and R… Love CLHD 12/20/15

  1. While most business transactions are no longer done with a handshake honoring your word is still the most important thing you can do.
  2. Look at the important people in your life. What do you admire about them? Why do you like to be around them? Take those qualities and make them your own.
  3. Saying, “Yes, sir” to your date’s father is a good way to begin.
  4. When you know in your heart that what you are doing is wrong have the courage to walk away even if it means leaving your friends behind.
  5. Whether you like it or not there will be a lot of people depending on you when you reach adulthood. Do those things that will earn their respect, love and trust.
  6. Don’t be afraid to take a chance. If it works out it builds character. It it doesn’t work out it builds character and you learn something valuable about the situation and/or yourself.
  7. Mama’s boys are a good thing as long as Mama is in the spot she belongs…behind your wife.
  8. Sharing feelings is often difficult for men. Do it anyway. Better for someone to know what you are thinking than having to spend all their time guessing incorrectly.
  9. Say “I love you” when you walk out the door. You never know if you will walk back in again.
  10. Never put “it” in a person you don’t want to wake up to everyday for the next 20 years.
  11. Having five children with five different women is cruel, stupid and condemns you child to less than a life he/she deserves. Be responsible. Don’t do it.
  12. Honesty truly is the best policy.
  13. Help others out when you can. It’s good for you and its good for the world.
  14. Be A Boy Scout. Be trustworthy, brave, helpful,clean and friendly. Doing these things never hurt anyone.
  15. Chivalry is not dead. Open doors for your girlfriend, wife and older women just because it is a nice thing to do.
  16. Be the kind of boyfriend/husband that every woman wishes her husband was.
  17. Sex is sex and love is love. Don’t confuse the two.
  18. Women are not a prize you discard after you obtain them.
  19. Too many notches in your belt only weakens the structure until it can no longer do the job of holding up your pants.
  20. Remember how you would sit for hours making legos. Find something that you love that much and spend time doing it.
  21. The way you act influences others. Act in the way you want to be remembered if you were to die tomorrow.
  22. Friends are important. Nurture those relationships and don’t abandon them for a girl.
  23. Have enough character to return the guys underpants that were run up the flagpole.
  24. Save for a rainy day. Cardboard boxes fall apart in the rain.
  25. It’s difficult when society says tough guy=real man. Be a tough guy only when you want to be and don’t be stupid about it.
  26. Bar fights are nothing to brag about.
  27. If you are drinking more than two beers a day you are taking away time from things that are really important.
  28. Two of you are a minority in this country. Expect to be stopped by the police for no real reason at all. Talk nicely, be cooperative, and make no sudden moves.
  29. Pick a woman who loves you boldly and completely. Make sure she is your best friend and has your back at all times.
  30. You will have many disappointments in life. Don’t wallow in them.
  31. You are responsible for your own happiness. Don’t put that on anyone else.
  32. Don’t follow orders blindly.
  33. Make a bucket list when you are young and work to finish the list before you die.
  34. You don’t have to change the world but changing your own neighborhood is something to shoot for.
  35. Lead by example.
  36. Don’t wear your pants down to your knees. It isn’t a cultural thing, it isn’t a societal thing…it’s a disregarding yourself thing which makes you look like something you are not.
  37. For goodness sake. No tats on the face. You’ll just look like a thug and most people won’t give you a job.
  38. You don’t have to accept a dare.
  39. It is easy to love in an emergency. It is harder to love in plain day to day living. Love like its always an emergency.
  40. When you are fearful keep going forward and face your fears head on.
  41. Drag racing can kill and often has unintended consequences. Don’t do it.
  42. Decide early on what is acceptable and what is not. Make a list of those things and stick to it. Then update that list every once-in-awhile on a quiet day when you have plenty of time to contemplate.
  43. Things will change with time. Try to go with the flow.
  44. Don’t make a promise unless you intend to keep it
  45. Your EVERYTHING MUST BE FAIR IN LIFE Certificate was lost at birth. You cannot order another one.
  46. Be sure to tell you wife two things you appreciate about her each day and compliment her three times a day.
  47. If you want a happy marriage YOU must be happy.
  48. There is no shame in apologizing. Don’t let your pride in the the way of being the first to do so.
  49. “Boys will be boys” is not an excuse for anything.
  50. There are girls that will love you, there are girls who will use you, and there are girls who only want you to be their baby daddy. Abstain until you know which is which and if you can’t do that ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use a condom or two.
  51. Telling your mother when you are 18 that you are going to be a daddy will make her CRAZY…don’t chance it.
  52. Volunteer your time and resources when you are young. You are often more useful, you will meet some great people and someone is always needed to move the boxes.
  53. Don’t be a bully with your fists or your words. There is someone who will always be bigger and badder than you and karma will ensure you will meet them.
  54. Don’t be afraid to try. EVER…unless it is something stupid.
  55. There are people in life that want to bring you down. Don’t let them succeed.
  56. Canoeing is a good way to forget life’s troubles.
  57. Success doesn’t happen through magical thinking. It takes hard work, dedication and the willingness to be flexible. Do all three.
  58. Teach what you know. Learn what you want to teach.
  59. If you want to learn be willing to listen.
  60. If there is something you are good at work harder to become great at it. Anyone can paint but it takes dedication and lots of practice to be asked to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
  61. Enjoying life means you cannot be a couch potato or a video game player. In order to get something out of it you have to put something into it.
  62. Save a life at least once during yours. Throw that starfish back into the water.
  63. You will probably change careers several times during your life. Do what makes you happy but make sure it pays the bills.
  64. Start investing in a job that has a 401 K and max it out every year. There is nothing more terrifying than coming to the end of your working years realizing the money you have saved can fit into something the size of a shoe box.
  65. Gardening is a good way to teach your children responsibility.
  66. Everything in moderation is still a good adage.
  67. If your first priority is to make your wife happy in bed you will reap untold rewards.
  68. Use deodorant everyday. If you don’t you won’t get the girl, you won’t get the job and you will have to shout at the people standing five feet away from you.
  69. Own at least one tie and one good pair of dress shoes.
  70. Believe in yourself and surround yourself with others who believe in you too. You deserve nothing less.
  71. Everyone has numerous strengths to draw upon. Find yours and improve upon them so that you know they are fully developed when you need them
  72. Read something everyday.
  73. Giving up and giving in too soon rarely accomplishes anything of value.
  74. Spend one day each week refusing to talk or act out of negativity.
  75. Be friends with those who are different races, ethnicities and religions than you. The blessings you reap will be a 1000 times greater than those first few minutes of being uncomfortable and unsure.
  76. The person who acts like they know everything knows nothing of true value.
  77. Real men ask for help (and directions)
  78. Vacations are important.
  79. Mid-life crisis’ are real. Don’t be a jackass during yours.
  80. Don’t confuse status with truth. A luxury car only means big payments and nothing about who is driving it.
  81. Your Dad was a great man. Take the parts you admire and incorporate them into your life.
  82. Make sure that the person you give your heart to really appreciates its worth.
  83. Having common interests is very helpful to sustaining a marriage.
  84. It’s just fine to cry. What you will learn from doing so will enrich your soul more than the tears ever will.
  85. There are times that your life will be beyond hard. Know that I am there in some form holding you tight.
  86. Keep your imagination open and running like when you were a kid.
  87. Never forget to put down the briefcase and play a game of hopscotch
  88. “If you can’t beat them join them” is no excuse for anything that happens afterwards.
  89. Fulfill your dreams before having children so you don’t resent them.
  90. Not everyone will like you. Deal with it.
  91. Be respectful to your elders.

If I Die Soon…Advice To My Daughters

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For about the past  ten years whenever I travel I tend to freak out before I go. While I never used to be afraid; I am now scared of flying. My family expects this of me now and they laugh at my trepidation.  “That’s just crazy mom,” they say with a smile.

I originally told B I was not going to China with him because I had an overwhelming feeling of dread. So now, as I contemplate this trip I have decided I need to leave my daughters some thoughts that I think contribute to living a good life just in case I trip on a yak and fall to my death on Everest. I thought of all of these things off of the top of my head instead of consulting the internet so that is probably why the list is what it is.

For N and G… Love CLHD 12/18/15

Here goes:

  1. Wear a bikini every chance you get when you are young and take a zillion pictures. You will never look this good again so you might as well document the heck out of it.
  2. Any person who tells you that you can’t do something doesn’t know you immense capabilities. Don’t listen to the naysayers.
  3. You never NEED a man. EVER. It’s okay to enjoy one though and be with one because he makes you happy and looks after your interests on the same level as his own.
  4. Report serious wrongdoing or abuse of power.
  5. You are a woman in a sea full of them. Stand out while supporting one another and for goodness sake don’t go poaching someone else’s man. You deserve more than sloppy seconds.
  6. Don’t worry about what others think and do what is unexpected. Your life will be so much more fulfilling if you do.
  7. Fulfill your dreams before having kids so you don’t resent them.
  8. Backpack…somewhere…anywhere…at least once in your life.
  9. Don’t be in a hurry. Get your degree then travel for awhile before doing your life’s work.
  10. Listen to your intuition. Really listen and follow it. It will rarely let you down.
  11. If some nut job forces his way into the car, steer into a building, another car, a light pole…anything. A car is replaceable but you are not.
  12. The first time a man hits you leave and never look back. Oh and be sure to say F*** You on the way out.
  13. You have an obligation to participate in the political system. Do so wisely and anyone who is a hater- work to defeat them.
  14. Don’t shave your legs for a month.
  15. Always walk to your car with your keys in your hands and your thumb over the alarm button. Look before you get in. If ANYONE makes you nervous go back to the store. NEVER be afraid to yell HELP or create a scene.
  16. Do what makes you feel good at least once a day.
  17. Chances are if you are a hater someday you will be the hated. Don’t hate.
  18. Not everyone is going to like you. Deal with it.
  19. There are times in your life where nothing will go as planned. It’s okay…you will come out the other side perhaps a little scathed but destined for something that is meant just for you.
  20. Those things you think are really important are usually not as important as you think. Let them go.
  21. Enjoy sex and have a lot of it. Enough said.
  22. The only thing worrying creates is more worry.
  23. Love is the greatest thing in the world and love is the worst thing in the world but do your best to love like its the only thing in the world.
  24. Age 20…one piece of candy = more. Age 50…one piece of candy = 5 pounds, three new zippers and having to have your wedding ring re-sized.
  25. You can love whomever you want as long as they aren’t already taken.
  26. Always ask if you need help. There is no shame in it.
  27. Corners are for mice.
  28. Make a bucket list when you are young and then work to hard to cross everything off of it before you die.
  29. You can revise your bucket list at any time.
  30. Test drive the stick shift before you marry it. There is nothing worse than being married to a manual when you like to shift from high to low gear when you are going for a joy ride.
  31. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t be a snob.Have compassion.
  32. Offer a hand up whenever you can
  33. Carry a McDonalds gift card in the glove compartment of your car to hand to a homeless person who is down and out…you may be there too someday. One never knows.
  34. Give 100% to what you are doing and then when you are done… rest.
  35. You are many things and many people rolled into one. Don’t just be the one that is the easiest. Be the one that makes your life feel complete.
  36. Be respectful to the elderly.
  37. Everyone has a story. Listen.
  38. Don’t drink and drive.
  39. Don’t make a promise unless you intend to keep it.
  40. Plan for the future but don’t live in it. This also means you should have a small water and food supply readily accessible in order to survive something unexpected.
  41. Remember your kids might see what you wrote on Facebook someday. Be nice.
  42. Clarity bring rewards. Think before acting.
  43. A good bra makes all the difference in the world but there are times to burn it too.
  44. Anytime someone says they know you better than you know yourself…don’t believe them.
  45. Be kind just because it is the right thing to do, just don’t be stupid about it.
  46. Read
  47. Say NO freely and with force when needed.
  48. Save money for a rainy day. Cardboard boxes fall apart when wet.
  49. Learning that you can’t always get what you want is helpful to figure out early on.
  50. If you have to get high more than once a month you aren’t being your own best friend.
  51. Never go to bed mad.
  52. Tell your spouse everyday three things you appreciate about them and be sincere.
  53. No eye rolling unless you are trying to get a part in a play.
  54. Never let yourself get more than 10 pounds overweight without losing it because somehow it rapidly grows to twenty.
  55. Forgive yourself. Often.
  56. Only give a loan if you can be pleasantly surprised if you ever get the money back.
  57. You should never have more “best friends” than the number of phone numbers you can remember in your head.
  58. Make mistakes just don’t be a jackass about it and keep making the same stupid ones…especially as it concerns men.
  59. Life is fluid. Try not to live in rigidity.
  60. I used to believe you could never love a child too much and then I met some adults who had.
  61. Don’t chew gum. It is totally non-biodegradable and will be around longer than we will.
  62. There is a reason why they say patience is a virtue. Unfortunately, I never had enough. I hope you do.
  63. Every time you have sex with a different man you give a little piece of your self away. Make sure you have enough of the good pieces left for yourself.
  64. Orange juice is good. Vodka is better.OR-G is superb. Together they are amazing. Reminder see #38.
  65. Love yourself first in a healthy non-narcissistic way…the rest will follow.
  66. Winnie the Pooh and Piglet had a great relationship. Aim for that.
  67. Your EVERYTHING MUST BE FAIR IN LIFE certificate was lost at birth. There is no way to order another one.
  68. Ugly women wear layers while beautiful women wear smiles.
  69. Compliment, compliment, compliment when you truly mean it.
  70. Exercise your body and your mind.
  71. It’s good to be smart so don’t let anyone make you feel bad for being so.
  72. Don’t act dumb in front of boys.
  73. Don’t have too much pride or stubbornness to apologize first.
  74. Learn to just sit comfortably with yourself as a way towards self-discovery.
  75. There is a difference between loving and spoiling.
  76. Go to the doctor once a year and get your yearly GYN exam. Please.
  77. Loyalty is rarely overrated.
  78. Your children are not really YOURS…you just borrow them for awhile.
  79. When you have no words just hold hands.
  80. Perfection doesn’t exist. Stop searching for it.
  81. I have spent too much of my life being negative. It doesn’t do anyone any good. Please don’t do that to yourself and others.
  82. Laugh hard and loud. A good snort in public is good for the soul.
  83. Your husband will make mistakes. You will make mistakes. It isn’t necessarily the end of your marriage even though it feels that way.
  84. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I already did that for you and your allotment is all used up.
  85. Sometimes you just have to work harder whether you want to or not.
  86. You are beautiful just the way you are. Believe it.
  87. If you hate your body in some way you just end up hating yourself. Stop it.
  88. Acceptance is a wonderful thing in most aspects of life. Try to partake of it often.
  89. If you see that your love for someone is like constantly riding a rollercoaster it is time to apply the emergency brake and get off the ride.
  90. Drama is for the stage only. Don’t create it and don’t accept it into your life.
  91. Never give up unless you are doing something stupid.
  92. Most things (except becoming pregnant) will not matter six months from now.
  93. Know I loved you.Deeply. Happily and sometimes in a flawed way.As you know I was far from perfect. I made lots of mistakes. Sometimes I did things out of fear rather than love. Don’t do that.Take the good of me with you, discard the bad and don’t take too much of me with you on your own journey. You are who you are and are under no obligation to be anything like me. Find your own path…mine was just for you to walk alongside me for a while but your own path awaits. Make your steps count but skip along that path too. Skipping clears the head and makes you feel alive again. You have but one life on this earth. Make it amazing for you, your family and for humankind. That’s all you can do. I love you…always have…always will.
  94. And please remember everything on this blog is copyrighted 2015.

Holding Hands…334 Days To Fix This

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Late last night B and I sat in the hospital as Paul had emergency surgery on some broken bones he sustained earlier in the day. We had some amazing/heartfelt discussions and a make out session or two in the stairwell by the waiting room. Two screws (no, not us), several wires and a cast later Paul was ensconced in a hospital room for the night.

Today, as I reflect on our discussions one thing is abundantly clear to me. When I lay dying and my last breath is near, the person I want to be there holding my hand when I cross over to where ever it is I am going is B. He knows me inside and out. He loves me like no one else has or can. He has trusted me, he has encouraged me and he has listened to me when doubt was my best friend. He is the love of my life and has walked beside me even when he wanted to turn around and leave me alone on the trail. He is my strength, my solace, my laughter and my joy. In short, he means  everything to me. And lastly, I know he will be the one sending up a prayer to Saint Peter, “Saint Peter, please cut her a lot of slack and let her in anyway.”

So who do you want by your side when you take that last breath and what are you doing to ensure that they will be there?

A cab driver reaches the pearly gates. St. Peter looks him up in his Big Book and tells him to pick up a gold staff and a silk robe and proceed into Heaven.

Next in line is a preacher. St. Peter looks him up in his Big Book, furrows his brow and says, “Okay, we’ll let you in, but take that cloth robe and wooden staff.”

The preacher is shocked and replies, “But I am a man of the cloth. You gave that cab driver a gold staff and a silk robe. Surely I rate higher than a cabbie!”

St. Peter responds matter-of-factly, “This is Heaven and up here, we are interested in results. When you preached, people slept. When the cabbie drove his taxi, people prayed.”

There were 3 men who died and before God would let them into heaven,
he gave them a chance to come back as anything they wanted.
The first guy said ” I want to come back as myself, but 100 times smarter.
So God made him 100 times smarter.

The second guy said “I want to be better than that guy, make me
1000 times smarter.
So God made him 1000 times smarter.

The last guy decided he would be the best.
So he said “God, make me better than both of them,
make me 1,000,000 times smarter.
So God made him a woman!

Three friends die in a car accident, they go to heaven to an orientation. They are all asked, “When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning upon you, what would you like to hear them say about you?

The first guy says, “I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time, and a great family man.”

The second guy says, “I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher which made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow.”

The last guy replies, “I would like to hear them say…….LOOK, HE’S MOVING!!!!!!!!!