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The Sanguine Path

Friday, June 28, 2013

For so many years I was held hostage by the alluring sanguine path that, once released, snaked down the curve of my arm, in crooked, crimson ribbons, and splattered time and time again onto the hard stone floor of my bathroom. Sitting on the cold tiled tub deck, I watched, I memorized, and my spirit traveled with the droplets.

Its spell over me was immense. I watched as every drop fell to its resting place, and, with each splatter the torment increasingly fled. The relief of my emotional pain was overwhelming. My body, soul and spirit were able to let go, to feel none of the anguish lodged in my mind or heart, only peace, tranquility and complete calm. I could once again breathe.

It was strangely surreal, watching the life giving fluid as if it were not mine, on its trek down my skin to its stopping point on the floor beneath, but the effects were all too real, and entrapping.

It's been years since the actual act has taken place. I've fought long, and I've fought hard to win the fight with the demon that coerced me into doing its will. I thought I had won the battle.

Two nights ago, the monster once again reared its ugly head. The temptation enveloped me, my thoughts were of nothing else, but that time I gave my best effort and fought back. The emotional torment of the tug of war was emotionally exhausting, but I was able to hold off long enough to think through the scenario, the wounds, and the scars that would be left in its wake.

Distraction was the answer I decided upon. I reached for my laptop and was determined to write, instead of destroy, until the night time medication took effect and I could sleep off the pain deep within my spirit, hopeful to begin fresh with the new rising of the sun.

With focus, will power and prayer, I did just that. I was able to re direct, I wrote. I wrote of change, of walls I'd purposely built in my life and of what will become of me when those walls are taken down piece by piece.

What will remain? I'm not certain. What I do know is, that night, two nights ago, I won a battle I had not won a single time since it had first implanted itself deep within my mind years ago.

If I could be victorious in that battle, I have confidence I can be victorious in any battle, the key is determination, and the power of will.



The Chrysalis

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I've been layering this cocoon, this chrysalis in which I've hidden, for years. Each day carefully adding another barrier to the outside world in the attempt to block the fear of hurt and rejection. It has afforded me much needed solace in a time of trauma and turmoil, but its end is near, it's usefulness has worn thin. I've no idea of the insect that will finally emerge.

But the tears that are moistening the chrysalis are becoming increasingly prevalent, so I know the time is near for the carefully formed layers to burst open and for for a new creature to emerge.

It frightens me, I've isolated myself for so long, formed too many layers, that I fear I have not the strength to complete my mission, or even the desire to try. Will my life end in the cocoon, or will I gather the strength to fight for my freedom?

I huddle in fear of what that creature shall be released to the world, I don't yet know. Will it be a beautifully colored, delicate, but strong butterfly that will gain strength and fly with the wind, leaving beauty and grace in its path? Will it be an object to bring smiles and admiration? Or will it be nothing more than merely a moth with its life's purpose to circle an illuminated inanimate object it perceives as life giving?

Will I fly free for others to see the strength, beauty and change? Or will I merely continue in unending circles until the the inevitable end?

I'm not really sure, at this point if that distinction is mine to make, or if the transformation has been predestined.

My hope is that the former will prevail, will bring beauty, light and understanding to an uneducated world. My fear is it will be the latter, to circle endlessly, and ultimately die alone.




It's MINE!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Yes, that's me alright
I'm sure you all know my husband was recently in a horrible motorcycle accident and is now attempting to recover at home.

He was finally able to make it up the stairs and hobble to our room to sleep in our bed, took awhile, but he did it. The hospital bed and wheelchair were picked up, thankfully, although I'm not so sure he'll ever be able to go into his office again.

He was confined in there for so long that now he usually has to be outside, feeling the breeze and smelling the sweet summer air.

Oh, yes, back to the story at hand.

He had been sleeping in our bed for about three nights. He can't really move, roll over, etc. He has to lie face up with a pillow under his knee to take the pressure off of his broken pelvis.

We both use three pillows, one to cradle our heads, he uses one under his leg and usually puts his arms around the third.

I, however, use the second, and sometimes the third, to put over my head. I know, I'm a freak like that. At least one pillow has to be over my head, covering my ears, while allowing my nose to be free....ya know, breathing in already breathed air is pretty gross.  Sometimes I put the third on top of the second one, and sometimes I just hang onto it.

Well a couple of nights ago I was searching for my third pillow around 2 in the morning. Guess where I found it? Uh, yeah, under his arm. I gently attempted to pull it out so I didn't wake him, didn't go so well. So I pulled a little harder. Suddenly he grabbed the pillow and yanked it from me with his good arm! I mean, the freaking nerve!

I know he's hurt and all but, damn it, it was MY pillow and I wanted it! So a bit of a tug of war started up.

"Give me MY PILLOW!"

"It's NOT yours, it's MINE!"

"The hell it is, give it to me NOW!"

"I'm the one that's hurt, I get it!"

"Just give me that damn pillow! You are hurt, you can't move, either give me the freaking pillow or I'll smother you with it!"

No, no I don't have much compassion when it comes to my sleep, just ask anyone that knows me.

"Fine take the damn pillow!"

"Thank you!" I put the pillow precisely over my head where it had been when he snatched it from me, turned over, pulled up the blanket, snuggled in, and then heard him say,

"Oh, wait, there's a pillow on the floor over here." Then he asked, "Can you get it for me?"

I pretended to be asleep, remember, I don't like my sleep disturbed.

"Well, maybe I can get it with my crutch. Ow, that hurts my BROKEN shoulder to try."


I got out of my cocoon, stumbled over whatever was in the floor, and found his precious pillow.

"Here, here's YOUR pillow."


"Anything else you need since I'm out of bed and freezing?"

"No, that's all. Thanks for getting it for me."

"I told you it was mine!"

He pretended to sleep. 

Moral of the story, keep track of your own freaking pillows, or they may be used as a device of torture.

Please check out Jeff Fundraising site. Although he is healing, he still is unable to work for months. Look around, check it out, leave him a hug, or give from your heart.




Smoke And Mirrors

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It's been almost two months since the accident, all of it a blur, except the last few days.

I remember things, not dates, times, or many people's names or faces, although there were many.

There's been a lot that's happened on the flip side of the coin, the one people don't think of, the role of caretaker, a manager, wading through applications, having food brought to my door by people I've never met, not remembering to eat, not keeping my schedule, that is so important in a bipolar world.

Our every waking minute  has been wrapped around Jeff and what we could do for him, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I've failed miserably in every way. Nikki, though, well Nikki was a trooper. Her room is right next to where Jeff had been confined and she was easy access, she never complained once.

Trying to stop a seriously injured man from doing things he shouldn't be doing, all while trying to stay calm, to breathe, and to realize how many of his actions were caused by narcotics, pain, frustration and anger, and attempting not to lash back has been trying.

I have been going to weekly counseling, instead of every couple of months, and have stepped up my psych visits so he can monitor my meds in order to be watchful of anything that might happen. They both have told me, my therapist and my psychiatrist, the same thing, numerous times, get away for an hour or even a day, ride your motorcycle, they told me roughly how many hours to take a week to ensure I could walk the fence as long as possible without falling. They reminded me that my emotional health was as important as Jeff's physical healing, and that it should not be ignored. We can't both be down.

So I did. When Jeff had more mobility, my son and I followed doctor's orders, or I should say suggestions. We took the entire day, after making sure Jeff would be attended to every minute, we left on our motorcycles. We rode one of my favorite rides. If you're from here, you'll know how Hwy 14 travels to Stevenson along the Columbia River. We stopped for lunch, I think it boosted my son's esteem a bit to, for once, buy his mom lunch. We then rode to The Dalles, because I will not cross the Bridge of the Gods, and rode back home on I84 taking in the beauty of the Gorge from the Oregon side. All together we were gone just short of seven hours.

We were gone and free from decisions, turmoil, and restraints. We enjoyed ourselves, and looking back, I would do it again. It was a great time to think of nothing but my son, the wind, the motorcycles and the scenery of the Gorge. It was therapeutic, as my doctors told me it would be.

I spoke with several people, and received judging looks from a neighbor or two, but none of what they thought mattered, I had to realize, What mattered was that I danced the delicate dance that was before me, while taking time for myself, and caring for Jeff.

I've attempted to stay strong. We worked with organizations on fundraising ideas and I think we have some pretty good ones so far. There are a lot of "behind the scenes" things happening that most people don't know about, and how can they? I don't write about them. Just for an FYI, a short synopsis on what's being planned. There a couple of poker runs, a 50/50 raffle, we received some excellent ideas from a veteran biker that has much experience with things like this. We're also planning another benefit poker run in August, as well as some silent auctions, some boisterous, competitive auctions of home baked goods, and other items that people in the community have graciously donated. So there's a lot going on, and a lot to be done, but I won't be walking you through it step by step, and I may not mention it much. 

The planning, the talking, the meeting, the researching, the idea tossing, that goes into fundraising. It's an entirely different world to me, and to those around me.  It's as if we're walking in the dark with no flash light, no sense of direction. But we will come together and we will do everything we can for Jeff. All of that along with his fundraising site should allow us to keep our heads a little about water while we regain momentum and are able to return to full force.

For me, being a person with bipolar, holding all of that together, and attempting to keep the train moving is difficult to say the least. So many people that haven't walked in my shoes, thank goodness, cannot understand how important it is for me to not just care for Jeff, but also care for myself. Whether that be riding my motorcycle, taking my mind off of the happenings here by thinking about a tattoo way down the line, or thinking of our 25th anniversary trip bought entirely with airline miles (that thankfully they allowed me to postpone as long as we take it before next April) and a charge of $10 dollars to my account, they are all ways of coping with a very serious change in our lives.

We're to a point now where Jeff is able to walk without the aid of crutches, but he can't work, physically, for months. That is scary, how do you keep a train running when there's something blocking the way? He's seeing a physical therapist three times a week, he's swimming some and he's following the orders of the PT. He's determined, he's strong willed, and well, he's Jeff.
We've discussed many avenues, many paths, and many situations, and have yet to come up with a solid game plan. I think we have one in fluid form, that needs to be firmed and initiated, but all we can do is to take one step at a time, one breath at a time.

So when you read my posts, or see my posts to Facebook, you have to remember there are several people attempting to cope here. There's no harm in my being silly, or seemingly frivolous with my ideas.  I'm not ignoring Jeff, I'm not ignoring the seriousness of the situation, I'm simply trying to take time for myself, to think of things that take my mind off of the everyday adjustments we've had to make.

There's not a thing wrong with letting my mind wander into mystical, exciting places, it it is what allows me the ability to cope with what we're going through, as a family, with the changes and with the everyday reality.

So realize, what you see, what your hear, what you think, may not be reality at all. I may just handle things differently than you. Jeff sticks to his doctor's orders, I stick to  my doctor's orders.

I also won't write about every little misstep in the road, or how many brownies we baked, or what we're doing behind the scenes. I'll write about what makes me happy, what takes my mind off of reality and allows me a few minutes to escape into my own world.

I will attempt to keep regular updates on Jeff's fundraising site, and to all those that have donated, thank you so very much, and for you that haven't, I ask you to consider helping to ease the burden my husband is carrying on his shoulders, even if it is only a note of encouragement for him. You can also tweet or post to Facebook directly from the site. We're asking you to help raise awareness and spread his word through out social media.

I have the widget posted to my side bar, but will post another link here as well. There are some people that have felt more comfortable sending a check or cash, and all of the monies collected go into a separate account so they are not mixed in with anything else. If you do want to donate and would rather do so by cash or check, please email Karli Cunningham, she sat up the fundraiser and is handling that end of things. There is a link to her email address on the site itself. She can give you her address or the account number so you can deposit your donation yourself. If you have not yet visited the site, I encourage you to pop in, look around and see what's happening!

And a little reminder to us all



For Yeamie and Shoes

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Here ya go guys, just for you......and I agree.

Think I'll post a bit more later tonight.

This is for Yeamie and Shoes.....Love you guys.. ♥



Behold A Pale Horse

Monday, June 17, 2013

"And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him."

I'm not sure what it is, the frail voice that was once strong and filled concert halls, his ability to continue to play his instrument as if it were an appendage, the words he'd written, his journey in life, or maybe I gravitate to the pain, the hurt, and triumphs expressed in his lyrical wanderings.

Something has drawn me to the music written in the last years of his life, many in the last three months of which his Creator allowed him breath. It's held me together when I felt nothing else could. It's comforted me when there was no solace, only unanswered questions.

I close my eyes and listen. I listen to the haunting bass-baritone voice and am able to discern his good days from his bad days. I listen to him beautifully manipulate the strings of his well worn guitar. I allow myself to feel the pain in his soul, as well as the joy in having made peace with the paths he chose to follow throughout his 71 years on this Earth.

I listen to his voice daily, closing my eyes and I am able to put myself in the midst of the verses so beautifully sang. Many I can identify with. Many remind of my life and how I chose one path over another.

Maybe it's his confidence I lean on, that I feel emanating from him,  that I yearn for. Whatever it is, I shall continue to listen, most likely several times a day.  Maybe I'll find what I'm searching for, maybe not, but he gives me hope and strength when none is to be found.

Even in death, he has the ability to bring emotion to people that have buried it so deeply, hoping never to feel it again. His words are able to bring life, pain, torment, and joy together to knit a beautiful piece, a proxy, for the Rock on which some of us stand.



The Window's Open

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The window is open tonight. I can feel the cool evening breeze gently wafting through the room, and hear the cars passing by. The owls are out, and the coyote pups are howling. My phone is buzzing with tweets from time to time, and the whir of the overhead fan is calming. Intoxicating ribbons of the aroma of lavender are making their way through the room, creating a serene atmosphere.

The dog has finally found her spot for the night, and has settled in under the cream colored matelasse quilt covering the bed. I can feel her warmth next to my leg, and the movement of her chest with every breath she takes.

I hear the deep and even breathing of my husband. I can see his outline in the dark, as the light from the computer screen illuminates parts of his body. His left leg is rhythmically rocking back and forth, moving the bed ever so slightly with each motion. He only does that when he's in pain. For awhile there will be no escape from it, even in slumber.

I know there's not much I can do, only listen and gather what he needs. There's no talking this man into anything. He will do what he wants to do, as he wants to do it.

But at night he pays the price. He saw a physical therapist today. It was a three and a half hour appointment. He called me after, and sounded better than I have heard him in weeks, his voice upbeat and encouraging, his tone was calm and refreshed.

I had errands to complete and, after a few hours, I returned home. He was sitting in a lawn chair, covered by a red beach towel, in the garage. There was a pillow behind his back, and he was rocking. That was not a good sign.

He had a massage appointment that he couldn't make it through, he panicked. Then on his way home, he got stuck in traffic, and panicked once more. He pulled to the side of the road, put on his flashers, put the windows down. He closed his eyes and just was. He breathed deeply and attempted to put his mind at rest before he continued his journey home.

As I sat with him, his day spilled out, and down his chiseled face, in tears of fear and discouragement. All I could do was to sit, rub his hand, and listen as he painfully told his story.

I thought of the appointment I had with my psychiatrist today. He told me I looked and seemed "positive." I told him I was numb. You do what you have to do to get through the war. When the war is over, the emotion can run free.

Jeff's war is now, as he's healing. When he gets back to problem solving and reading blue prints, he will be emotionally free, his focus re directed. That is when I'm afraid I will fall. Now I am busy with all of the different doctors appointments, keeping him taken care of, and all the things that come with the duties of a caretaker.

Yes, I'm afraid my fall will come when he is once more whole. 

You can read more of Jeff and his story here: Help Rebuild Jeff One Nail At A Time.

Until next time, kisses,


He Wanted To Go, He Wanted To Stay

Friday, June 7, 2013

We circled the parking lot a few times. I didn't know how to get to the MAX station, the transportation system that would take him "home." We went up one road, then another, into a parking lot, only to turn around and do it all over once more.

He talked the entire time, beginning from when we got into the car, until we said our goodbyes. I wouldn't be able to tell you what he said, I was too busy thinking, trying not to let my will power down, while at the same time battling the feelings of a mom.

He had come to visit for the afternoon, we hadn't seen him since several weeks before the accident. When he arrived at the front door, he knocked. None of the other kids that have moved away have ever knocked when they came to visit, it was unsettling, like he felt he didn't belong. 

He looked tired when he came up the stairs. He was dirty and the smell of homeless life covered him and filled the living room. He apologized without anyone mentioning it to him.

"How long has it been since you've had a shower?"

"About two or three weeks. I don't want to take one and then have to put dirty clothes back on."

I felt the tears stinging my eyes, but was able to hold them back, on the outside, but not in my soul. 

I asked if he wanted some of his Dad's clothes to change into so he could take a shower and wash what he had on, the only clothes he had left, the only clothes to his name. He looked surprised and accepted the offer.

Soon he came upstairs, smelling fresh and clean.  He began to talk, sat in a chair, then quickly fell asleep. I left him there, I'm sure he hadn't slept well in some time. While he slept I went to the grocery store, came home and began to prepare the evening meal. 

At dinner he ate as if he hadn't eaten in awhile. He probably hadn't, but then again, it was Chicken Teriyaki, his favorite. We had to hurry through dinner, he had to be at the shelter in time to line up in hopes of getting a bed for the night.

He took his time gathering what few possessions he had left, a backpack, a water bottle and a note pad, more time than usual.

I went out to speak with his Dad while I waited for him. Soon he came out of the house looking, well, looking homeless. He hugged his father carefully, but held on for what seemed like an eternity.

He was smiling as he got in the car. He had a difficult time speaking and listening to my CD at the same time, so I muted the sound. He started his maze of difficult to follow conversation, and although I attempted to listen, I could only think of my son on the streets of downtown.

When we finally arrived at our destination, I put the car in park to say our goodbyes. He opened the door of the black car, but remained seated, staring into my eyes. I knew then he didn't want to leave us, his family, but knew he had to. He hugged me tightly and wouldn't let go.

When he finally sat up in the seat, he looked at me as if he had something to say, but the words wouldn't come out. We sat there for the longest time. We both knew what he wanted, and we both knew what the answer would be.

He picked up his backpack, his water bottle and his note pad, got out of the car, and stood there looking at me, unsure of what to do next.

Then he said, "Don't worry Mom, I have a plan."

"Ok, Joshua, keep your eyes on the goal. Please check your Facebook, it's the only way I have of reaching you."

"Yes Ma'am. I love you Mom."

"I love you too son. I always have, and I always will. We are here, and always will be."

"I know Mom, thank you. I love you. Goodbye."

He closed the door and slowly walked to the MAX pick up point. He looked back and waved, and his mother cried.


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