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City Sidewalks

Friday, December 25, 2015

Twinkling lights, laughter, and raindrops, filled the small downtown area of the beautifully lit City of Bridges this Christmas Eve. I watched as families with shopping bags overflowing with last minute gifts smiled, puddled jumped, and danced, beneath the gigantic Christmas Tree in the town square.

Inside of my car I was insulated from it all. We drove with a purpose, slowly, block by block. Raindrops would splatter on the windshield obscuring our view, but we searched in spite of the distractions.

We drove by the homeless that were huddled together waiting for shelters to open. We studied the faces, the posture, the stance, of those we saw. None belonged to the man I was looking for. None were my son. None belonged to the boy-man with many challenges in life that led to his choice to live in the maze of pavement he now calls home. 

At one point, against advice, I jumped from the car to speak with several of the people that make the streets their home. They knew my son, most do because of his ability to befriend anyone anywhere, but they hadn't seen him in weeks. I begged them to please ask him to call his mom if they should run across him.

I kept listening to the voicemail left several days earlier, "Mom I've been in and out of the hospital for the last few weeks. I wanted to check in. I love you." He's always checked in. He might go for weeks at a time, but he's always checked in, especially for holidays, special events, and then again just to say hello.

Finally with darkness falling we left the city for the suburbs, back home. Part of me was hoping he would be there waiting, although I knew he wouldn't be, but the heart of a mom never gives up hope for her children.

When we arrived home lights were out, no one was there. My heart sank. Thoughts of him occupied my mind all last night, and then again today. I checked all of the jails, the hospitals, and, finally gathered the strength to call the coroner's office. I had to leave a message and a detailed description of the boy I carried on my back for two years as a baby, and as I described the red, heart shaped, birthmark on the back of his neck as tears rolled down my cheek.

The voicemail haunts me. He sounded so hollow, beaten down, and hopeless. It made our search all the more fervent. The more we looked the more I felt the hope drain from my spirit, and the more I felt my heart break. What scares me most is the pain he feels. He feels worthless, less than, and unwanted. I've read journals he left behind and I know he wants to leave this Earth and be free from the obstacles he faces.

We'll be out again this weekend looking for the curly headed smiling guy with the infectious laugh, and we will wait for the return call from the coroner.




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Hidden Treasures

Monday, September 21, 2015

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One never knows what they’ll find when they open an old taped up box, a stuck drawer, or even looking through thousands of pictures stored on external hard drives.

I’ve not been well recently and have been lying in bed for the majority of a couple of weeks. Most of that time sleeping, however, yesterday I only slept 13 hours so possibly things are on the upswing?

Boredom skips hand in hand with lying in bed so those are things I did, besides beginning the Sopranos again.

I opened a box filled with framed family pictures, photo books and cards. The first item I came across was a sterling silver book with pictures of my tiny angel grandson, Isaiah, when he was alive.

The invitation to his shower was in there as well as the handout for his memorial service. There are pictures of him awake and beautiful before we knew he was sick, and many, many more after we found out how sick he was.

I’d forgotten how much hair he had. He looked as if he had a black knitted cap on his tiny head, but it was beautiful baby hair, a lock of which I have with me still. He was such a gorgeous baby, and my daughter was so incredibly beautiful in the pictures staring into the eyes of her second child. It was hard to look at, but comforting all the same.

On the hard drives I found lots of photos of my mother with my grandson Jakob. She loved him so much. He had such a mischievous smile in each picture and a head full of dirty blonde curls.

I found files and files of both Karli and Michelle’s weddings. One of my favorite pictures is one with Karli sitting on a barstool watching my mom make meatballs for the wedding. We were all exhausted, but my mom kept working into the night before the wedding.

Then I came upon pictures of my mother’s funeral, my dad, my brothers, and of my last goodbyes to Mom.

Finding pictures of my mom, and of Isaiah, that I didn’t know I had, was one of the best gifts I could have received. After writing this I think I’m going to start in on the other hard drives waiting to be explored and see what hidden treasures I find. 

xoxoxo

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It May Be

Thursday, September 17, 2015

It'll probably be awhile until I'm able to write again.

I'll spare you the details, but I will say my son has been taking very good care of me in this most recent situation, and I'm sure he will continue to do so.

Be in touch when I'm able.

I love you guys,

Teri

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It Is What It Is

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I might be gone for awhile, not really sure.

I've been pretty sick for sometime now. We've been trying to figure it out.

Too tired to get out of bed. Sleeping 18-20 hours a day is BS.

No feeling in one foot and loss of feeling in the other.

Losing weight again.

Can't think, can't pee, can't walk straight, can't breathe, my back is killing me.

They drew labs again yesterday and filled me with meds.

Next step is getting another MRI scheduled.

Kidney function isn't good and if the one is bad it has to go.

Labs from yesterday should be in tomorrow.

Labs a couple of weeks ago showed some normal readings, but some not so good. 

Tired of being sick, tired of continual labs and tests and tired or worrying what the hell is going on.

Later,

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The Wedding

Friday, September 11, 2015

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Looking back, it could have been a scene straight from the pages of a fairy tale love story.  It was a warm October evening in Texas and a gentle breeze was stirring the air as I unloaded my groceries into my car beneath a sky shimmering with stars.

I opened the hatch of the black and gold 280 ZX and was loading my groceries as I heard a car approach and a door open then shut. I turned and the man behind me was smiling. It was obvious he was a body builder. Even under the over sized flannel shirt I could see the form only seen on a man that had been lifting weights for years.

He had a beautiful smile; his skin bronzed by the Texas sun and had hair that shimmered like golden threads as the lights shone from above. His chest was broad and defined and I could see the outline of his large biceps as his baggy shirt moved with them as he finished loading my groceries into my car.

We chatted a bit and a dinner date was made for October 23, 1987, two days later. After the abusive relationships of the past, I refused to allow him to pick me up. We met at a little place called the Oyster Kracker and I left my car. He opened the door for me on his Cadillac, as any gentleman should for a woman, and we went to a steakhouse for dinner.

Conversation was easy; it flowed as if we had known each other forever. He took my guard down; I let it down. He was polite, handsome, chivalrous, and we had an incredible evening of deep, stimulating, conversation, dinner, dancing, dessert and more conversation before he dropped me off where I had left my sporty little car.

It seemed like a dream come true. He appeared to be everything I’d always wanted in a partner but could never find. We connected instantly and within six months we were married at a little white chapel in Tarrant County, Texas.  

Being on a tight budget, as well as time frame, I made my wedding dress with the help of my mother’s sister. It was flowing ivory satin with a strapless, lace, and beaded bodice. I also hand made my bridal veil, and the bouquets we carried down the aisle.

I was nervous as I waited in the bride’s room with my father. Dad was so handsome in his tux, the first one he had ever worn. He was joking around to keep me from hyperventilating. My breaths were shallow, I had never been so nervous.

As the proper song began, I looked at my Dad, took a deep breath, and out we went. I saw my soon to be husband’s eyes watching me. He was smiling as I walked down the aisle of the candle lit chapel. He was so handsome with his glistening, sun-bleached hair, his perfectly fitted, elegant tux looked amazing on him, and his radiant smile warmed my heart.

My six-year-old daughter was the flower girl, my two-year old son the ring bearer. His boys were ushers and lit the many candles whose flames danced with the music that filled the sanctuary.

My father walked me to the man I was marrying, and as Dad stood beside me, I heard something rarely, if ever, heard from my father, he was quietly crying.  Dad then placed my hands into the waiting hands of another man and went to sit next to my mother.

There came a time during the vows where the man I was marrying was supposed to speak and didn’t. His head was down. I was sure he was going to turn and leave. I felt his grip tighten on my hand, and tug it a bit. A hush fell upon the guests, not a noise could be heard. He then lifted his head, looked into my eyes, and through his tears, repeated the vows.

After the ceremony the pastor had us turn and face our guests as he introduced us as Mr. and Mrs. Both smiling, we walked through the people, giving kisses, shaking hands and exited the building to a waiting limousine.

The driver, or someone, handed us a bottle of champagne, my new husband popped the cork, bubbles overflowed and, of course, my father was first in line for a glass. Someone toasted our new marriage, my husband helped me into the limo and off we went, straight to Arby’, I hadn’t eaten all day.

As we drove from Arlington, Texas to the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas for our first night as a newly married couple, we finished the champagne. Not being a drinker it hit me hard and getting out of the limo in a long flowing dress was more than I could handle. He reached in for my hand and gently helped me out of the glossy silver limo.

As we walked into the grand lobby people turned and applauded. We got checked in and every eye in the hotel seemed fixed on the bride and groom as we headed toward our suite. 

xoxo

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Solace

Saturday, August 29, 2015


It was unusually warm in our dimly lit room room. I felt the breeze, in the late hours of the night, gently stirring the air surrounding us. I stared blankly at the solid cherry wood doors of the closet. I  focused on the crystal knobs that adorned them and wished their clarity was one in which we could live.

Sleep was elusive that evening. I was restlessly lying on my left side, the soft cotton sheets and cream and teal colored quilt were covering my hips, leaving my bare torso to be cooled by the ribbons of air wafting though the room from the opened window. The whispering air caused the drapes to lightly dance leaving their shadows on the wall.

My left arm was stretched above my head and curved back with my hand resting on my long blonde, tousled, tresses. I had my right arm wrapped gently around the goose down pillow by my side. My hand was peeking from the top of the pillow and was relaxed against my chin.

I could hear the deep breathing next to me. I felt him stir and turn toward me. Suddenly his arm engulfed me and pulled me in close. I felt the warmth of his soul touching mine. He grabbed my left arm, removed the pillow and held my bent arm tightly to my body enveloping me in his strength and protective love. 

Instantly I calmed and snuggled in as closely as was possible. I felt his heart beating on my back as he nestled his face tightly into my neck. His rhythmic breathing on my exposed skin was soothing as it gently lifted the golden locks that had fallen across my neck. 

I smiled and thoughts of solace and safety filled my mind. Within minutes I was asleep. The slumber that fell upon me was deep, and much needed, after the week we had endured.

I awoke as I sensed the sunrise. I turned and he was gone. I studied the crumpled sheets he had been under and grabbed his pillow pulling it to my face so I could take in the scent he had left behind. I smiled remembering the security and love of the night before and I knew the day to come would surpass my expectations.

xoxo 

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I'll Get You

Monday, August 17, 2015

I'll rev the engine, bring my bike to a speed where angels can easily take over and help me soar into the Heavens to see the child.

I can see him climb aboard with a gigantic smile, and we'll fly with the current made by creations of our Savior.

I'll see you soon lil' one. You'll know me instantly, for I'll be holding the extra X and the O I placed in your tiny, lifeless hands just before you were lowered into your earthly resting spot.

Looking forward My Angel,

Much love,

Nana

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He Got My Mind Off Of It

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Several days ago I was stung a gazillion times by swarm of aggressive wasps that pretty much put my ass out of commission for several days.

I'll write about that when the swelling is gone from my hands and typing will be easier. This is the first day I felt better so I grabbed the kid, stuck him on the back of my pink Harley and off we went.

The kid really wanted to go so he made mommy poached eggs and pancakes

 

Ready to roll

video
video
"Hey, it's a Harley."

This is more the kid's speed right now

He'll be riding ONE day

video
"What? You actually let me wear a little kid's helmet?" 





video

Ok folks time for steroids, lidocaine, ice, and feet up.

Later, xoxoxo

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A Father's Wisdom

Sunday, August 2, 2015

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I walked into the room I had built for my mom years before. The Saltillo tiles beneath my feet were cool and smooth. I pulled back the teal and cream-colored quilt, the Egyptian cotton sheets, and slipped beneath them.

It was one of those nights when thoughts prevailed and sleep was elusive. With my head on the pillows, and the blankets pulled up around me, I took in the beauty that had been meant for my mother.

I studied the chocolate colored ceiling and the light powder pink walls that surrounded most of the room. The alcove, built for the plush king sized bed, is also chocolate.

On each side of the alcove are massive light cream-colored built-in bookshelves filled with various items, from the move, that had yet to find a home to call their own.  In front of the built-ins are crystal chandeliers, and the built up baseboard that finished off the look of the room is about ten inches tall and intricate.

To the left is the closet with double solid cherry wood doors adorned with crystal knobs. They are the doors of days of old with five horizontal panels engraved in the beautifully stained wood.

To the right is the window with dark teal, velvet panels that pooled gracefully on the floor. In between the richness of the velvet hang handmade silk panels of a lighter shade of teal, embroidered with chocolate. They flow from an oil rubbed bronze rod with ornate finials at the ends.

In the corner, beside the massive, granite-topped dresser, is a plush chair. It, too, is another shade of velvety teal with raised, light brown designs. I couldn’t make out the design in the darkness that filled the room, the same darkness that filled my mind.

The large, flat screen television was on, but I was lost in far away thoughts, and near in others.

Who knew when I designed the ornate living quarters for Mom years before that she would be killed and I would be living in what had been meant for her.

I felt her presence, and my Father’s, with me as my mind drifted here and there. I thought of how material items had filled my life in the attempt to run from the emptiness I had felt for years, and the harshly spoken words which, not only I, but several of the children, had endured for far too long.

I wondered why it had taken me so long to leave the situation I had been in, and it was fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of being unworthy, fear of even making true friends.

But I had finally gained the strength from within; possibly from the talks I had with my father after mom was killed and before he died.

I can still hear his words ringing in my ears, “Teri, I don’t like the way I hear you spoken to, I don’t like the way I see you treated, I didn’t like seeing you manipulated when you came to see us, and the tears you shed when plans that had been agreed upon were tossed aside, your family was tossed aside, and most of all you’re tossed aside, you walk on eggshells. Pain pierced my soul to watch you in such anguish. Teri, all that I’ve seen in the last few years are not signs of a healthy relationship. You need to think of what your future holds. Take these words of your father and think on them, just as I will ask your brother to do, for he is in the same situation, only reversed. I don’t like seeing my children mistreated. You’re not the only ones suffering; my grandchildren are as well, and as a result your mother and I have been. The decision is not mine to make, but rather yours to reflect upon, but my choice is that you seriously think of your future, what I see in it is not good. I cannot take seeing more tears of pain and uncertainty fall from your eyes.”

I was awake most of last night replaying the talks I had with my father for those 13 months we had alone together after Mom was killed. How, I wondered, could he see what I could not?

Now I know, he had lived them through us, my brother and me. A parent feels what their child feels, and is astute enough to see what their child cannot, will not see.

In his grief over losing my mother he was free to speak, he longed to speak for he knew his time was near and the words he had inside needed to be spoken. He felt an urgent need to tell me what he saw, not only with my marriage, but with my brother’s as well. He was right, he always was and I was too stubborn, as I always had been, or more aptly, too afraid, to recognize the signs myself.  

Thank you Dad for your wisdom. It’s what has carried me this far, and I know it will not be in vain. The words of your wisdom will help me soar, will guide me through space and time, only this time you will be piloting me instead of the jets you flew all of your life. Your most important task, as you put it, was to make sure I was happy, my brother was happy, and that I was safe.

Dad, I am finally safe. My mental state will come around in time, and the “conditioning,” as you put it, will become a thing of the past, and I will use it to help guide others in the same situation.

Daddy, I thank you for your pearls of wisdom, and your strength to tell me. I’m sorry it took me so long to see what you were referring to, but I did. I did before I knew cognitively, my body and heart knew something was wrong, my mind, however, took more time.

I love you now, I loved you then, and I feel your guidance, and you were right, I have to endure those that don’t, won’t, understand, for the journey is not theirs to understand, only mine. 

With love and respect, your daughter,

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I Miss You

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I miss the way we'd go for coffee and spend hours talking.
I miss the way you would tell me things no one else knew.
I miss the sparkle in your eyes as you told things you were passionate about.
I miss the way you laughed at your own jokes until you cried.
I miss how you removed your glasses to wipe the falling tears from laughter.
I miss the way you looked at me.
I miss how proud of me you were.
I miss sitting doing nothing, just knowing you were near.
I miss how much I meant to you.
I miss your wisdom.
I miss your sense of humor.
I miss sitting on the back porch talking about any, and every, thing.
I miss your blue eyes looking at mine.
I miss how you warned me.
I miss how you listened to me, even when I rambled.
I miss how you heard me, you really heard me.
I miss how you told me what you saw, even though I didn't at the time. 
I miss how you gave me hope when there was no hope. 
I miss you telling me you loved me.
I miss you Daddy, and I always will. 

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I Was Told It Was Impossible

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I was told it was impossible, but as you can see, it wasn't at all, not in the least.

All it took was a few hours, a bit of work, thought, team effort, and about $10.00.

Here it is, it's amazing, and we love it!

Let's begin!



Sizing it up.
The Pup approves
Joshua died
One rock at a time, one brick at a time.
Now for the travertine
Like a puzzle
A little direction. Joshua was so helpful!
Patience
filling the cracks and finishing up the puzzle
See, I helped
Sweeping in the sand
Final touches
We have fire!
Martini loves it!
Beautiful perfection for under $10.00




Perfect for the party this summer, and wonderful evening memories of summer nights in the North West with a fire, blankets, great company, and marshmallows.
 

Happily,

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