What I Need From You

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I talk to B everyday I am gone. Perhaps it is a mistake. Perhaps he needs to “feel” my absence instead of my presence for a while. Perhaps he needs to miss me…if he ever would.

I say, ” Love You.” He repeats it back when what I really want to hear is:

“Well, Dad and I had a good day today. Blah-blah-blah.”

“Honey, I just want you to know that we are really missing you here. Especially me. What I wouldn’t give to have you in my arms right now. I  love you and need you here with me, now and forever.”

What I wouldn’t give for those kinds of loving and reassuring words. Words that say that I am appreciated, treasured and loved. Words that tell me I am still his girl and he is damn glad that I am. Words that make me feel his love for me here in Michigan or Paris or anywhere I happen to be. Words that he would say during my eulogy to pronounce to all in attendance that I was who he loved and letting go will be hard.

Why is it so hard for B to say them? Is it because he doesn’t know how or that he can’t because he doesn’t feel that way and saying them would be a lie?

This 30+ year love affair shouldn’t be so difficult. It SHOULD be easier than ever to whisper sweet nothings. To let a person who feels they are teetering on the edge of your life to know how much they mean to you, how much you desire them, and that their absence makes their heart ache.  For we are getting to the age where death begins to watch you from the shadows and you never know when you might be taken. And of this I am sure: When you leave this earth you should know without a doubt who loved you to the end of the rainbow.

Perhaps this kind of talk is unrealistic. Perhaps it only happens in fairy tales. But if those things are true then I want to re-write my story because this is what I need. This is what my heart longs to hear and my soul craves. Words that are meaningful, loving and make a future with B obvious. A future that is mutually desirable, sought-after and protected.

Do you love me B? Then let me hear the words. Let me hear them said from that place in your heart that is occupied only by me and that is reserved for my love only. That place in you where I anchor you to our love both past, present and future. That place that says I am still the only woman for you. That place that says you want me to be the one holding your hand when you pass into another realm.

Let me know. Before I forget and slide into a place where I can no longer feel your heart connected to mine or feel our souls slide gently together throughout the day. Let me know so when I lay my head down on my pillow tonight I can rest so peacefully that angels would come and I would not fight them. Let me know so when the sun rises tomorrow that I know your love for me has risen with it just like it will the next day as well as the next.

I need your love but right now I need your words more than I ever have. For they are a gift that is not meant to be withheld but given freely and in love.

So be it!

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.

The SEX Talk…274 Days To Fix This

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One of the good things about Autism is that sometimes it qualifies you for services that will help your children navigate the world both now and in the future. Several years ago we had individuals trained in ABA therapy come into our home five days a week teaching our boys such things as social skills, safety awareness, and on one occasion we had THE SEX TALK with the therapist leading the conversation. These are just a few of the comments made during that discourse:

  1. If THAT is what it is suppose to be used for, why am I only finding out about it now?
  2. That’s a relief! I thought after you used it once it fell off!
  3. I hope Mom doesn’t take mine away like she did Max (we had just had the dog neutered)
  4. After this, I REALLY don’t want to know what they are going to tell me when I am in seventh grade.
  5. Oh geez I am only 11 years old and the thought of a man and woman having sex makes my penis want to throw up!
  6. I think that this will blow Paul’s mind when he hears about this. Not in a good way either.
  7. Is that what they mean by “an endless black hole?” (Yes,he said that with total sincerity)
  8. If sex feels good why does anyone stop doing it?
  9. I think I want to go into the condom business
  10. If it takes two people to make a baby, what do three people make? ( I have NO idea where that came from!)

Since that time the questions have evolved and become more sophisticated. Last week we graduated to sexual consent and I found a video that was probably the best description of it I have ever seen. Every young man should see this before he even considers having sex. Every young lady too. So here it is. And now I think I will go get a cup of tea.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/oct/27/police-youtube-ad-campaign-sexual-consent-tea?CMP=share_btn_fb

Letter From The Civil War

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I have had the honor of transcribing some letters between my GG grandmother and her cousin who was serving in the Civil War. I love this bit of family history and appreciate that I have been entrusted with it. There are mis-spellings and I left them that was intentionally. Cousin Mac who wrote this letter did not survive the war. He died of Typhoid Fever at a hospital in the South. He was a Union solider.

Loudon Tenn

Sunday eve

May 22, 1864

Dear Cousin:

I happen to have nothing else to do this evening so I guess I will write to you, though I think I wrote since I had one from you.

We are once more comfortably located since leaving Knoxville and I think fully as pleasantly possible, at least the boys all think so.  We took possession of some houses left by the 50th Ohio, as they were relieved by us, so we were home at once.

We are near the River-about as far from your house to the bridge. The River is larger here than at Knoxville. It looks about as wide here as the Ohio at Cincinatti, though not near as deep. Our camp is on a kind of neck of land; the River comes in from the south, and then makes a circuit of 7 miles around and comes back within a half mile of where it passes this Camp.  I have a lready had  a couple of rides on it…some of the Plymouth boys had a trout line set- and night before last I helped them take it up. It was a nice night, as the moon shone bright and I tell you we had a good time, we rode some two miles but didn’t get many fish. About all the kind of fish that is caught now is what we call “Sheep Heads”. The “natives” here call them pretty good though.

Of all the homely ill-looking speciments of mankind I ever saw, I beleive Loudon & vicinity can take the lead. If you wanted to see some specimens, you ought  to be here at the Provoost Marshalls Office part of a day. His business is to give passes to loyal citizens, and to soldiers who want to pass the Picket-lines. Anyone can come into town, but all have to get passess to get out again. The Office is generally crowded all day, and you may be sure there are all sizes, kinds, and colors. They are generally ignorant- few can write their names.

Several members of the company came in today, they were left in hospitals in Covington, among them was Isaac Borough & Horace Place. I guess they are the only ones from our town. One of our Lieutents that was in Cincinatti in command of one of the Prisons there, also came with them.

I have heard nothing of our (?) yet. William is still at K, and will take care of it. I presume it has come before this time.

Some way or other I have very poor success in getting letters from home. It has been most three weeks since I had one, and I feel anxious to hear from them.

I send you some verses of a song what has lately come into the company and is very popular just now. I think it is about as good one as I’ve heard for a long time and the tune is so well suited to the words. I wish I could send it just as it sounds when three or four parts are sung and it is so true too. But maybe your know it for I presume some one has it in the town.

Write a soon as you can

Good night

The Qualities That Make Up A Good Man

images-8When you are going through a “maybe-divorce” I think that sometimes it is easy for forget the good parts of the mate who may no longer want you in their life. In fact, I suspect that many people, just like me, often begin to concentrate on the negative so if the divorce does indeed occur, they have at their fingertips all the reasons that their partner was a jerk, asshole or just plain incompatible. It is easy to think of all the wonderful things about your mate when everything is sunshine, rainbows and consists of great sex in the middle of some exotic location. It’s when things get unpleasant that remembering those positive attributes gets tough. So B, this is for you, and even though you won’t know it exists, I guess I kind of believe if I put them out in the universe you will know they are there. Maybe these ideas will also bump into a few men who need a primer on just what a good man is.

  1. You love our kids and would do anything for them even if it means watching My Little Pony 250 thousand times.
  2. At this point in the game, I still believe you would save my life no matter what the cost to yourself. Clark Kent has nothing on you!
  3. You work hard to bring home a paycheck which makes our lives easier.
  4. You are encouraging to our children and to me. Whether it is a pat on the back or a shout out from the stands we know you believe in us and what we are doing.
  5. You believe in us. You help us find those qualities in ourselves that make it possible for us to succeed.
  6. You treat your extended family well. You are good to your brothers and sisters. You were a wonderful son to your parents and grandmother. You can talk to my father when he and I fail to communicate.
  7. You are careful with your words. Most of the time you think before engaging your lips…a very sexy quality in a man and one that I often lack!
  8. You have worked hard to keep people employed. I have always admired how you have done your upmost to keep your employees employed during tough economic times. I know how you worry about how the impact of unemployment will effect their families and do everything to protect them.
  9. You take care of the yard every week. Even though you didn’t want a dog you still pick up the poop…if that doesn’t say love than nothing does!
  10. You will iron my clothes if I am in a hurry and I ask. Now if I could just put you in an apron while doing it you would fulfill a major fantasy of mine!
  11. You are involved in many groups that help kids and people in need. That makes you admirable in my book.
  12. You have a spiritual side that I envy. I wish with all my heart I was on that ride with you.
  13. You are adventurous and willing to go that extra mile to peek around a corner to see what is there. Thank you for taking me around the bend with you.
  14. You like to travel. We have stumbled on weird places that have brought us so much laughter over the years. Remember the old swingers resort that Expedia sent us to or the goat grill in the backwoods of Yugoslavia? Those were some great times.
  15. You used to read a story to put our children to bed even though you were tired after a long day. I loved listening to you showed our kids you loved them and because you took the characters from the book into our bedroom. ‘nough said.
  16. You are balanced. Even though you have a company to run you still put us at the top of the list of things you have to do. That is sexy!
  17. You give respect to most everyone you meet. The ability to connect with so many people of diverse backgrounds and interests speaks volumes about what you are made of.
  18. You are good with our money. Thank goodness one of us is!
  19. You have a great sense of humor No one can make me laugh and lighten the load like you.
  20. You have good manners. I am waiting for that invitation to a White House  dinner so you can be my arm candy and make me look good with your ability to charm everyone you meet.
  21. You have shaped yourself by finding traits in others that you admire and then adapting and incorporating them into your life. I love how you have made other men your mentors, men like your Uncle and Andy, and were thankful to learn from them.
  22. You have a sense of gratitude. Nothing is worse than a pompous man. You thank those around you and lift them up while doing so.
  23. You have a positive attitude. You manage to enjoy the unexpected, even when it’s not what you wanted originally
  24. You have goals and ambition. Ambition leads to qualities such as discipline, creativity and persistence which all lead to success.
  25. You are comfortable in a variety of roles. You can be Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Friend, Boss, Trustee and you are comfortable in them and wear them well.
  26. You are wise. You learn not from the experience itself but from reflecting on the lessons that you learned from it. You also know how to balance common good with self interest.
  27. You try to do right by others.
  28. You often put others wants ahead of your own which make those others feel valued and important.
  29. You share your time, money and love with us and children around the world.
  30. You work hard at being a thoughtful and skillful lover putting my sexual needs first regardless of whether or not you get the dividend at the end.

Yes, there are also some important qualities that need to be on this list. Patience (Which you do have oodles of), compassion, bravery just to name a few. Did I say honesty? Oops…honesty! Yes, definitely honesty belongs on this list. But all in all, if every man was like B the world would be a better place!