Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Teri Anderson. Powered by Blogger.

First Written, Now Spoken

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


For My Failures I Am Thankful

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Through some of the most bizarre happenings, difficult situations, and unlikely actions, somehow life seems to bring the most amazing gifts at the most unexpected times, in the most inconceivable ways.

I realize many of you don't share my faith and this is in no way an attempt to persuade you to believe as I believe, but rather a proclamation of my feelings, my beliefs, and how my walk in this world has been affected by my own actions and my belief of how The One I put my inner most faith in used unfathomable circumstances to guide me, keep me safe, and better my life. Speaking for myself, this is Thanksgiving, realization, and healing. This is therapy for me, and perhaps for just one individual that may be reading the words typed within this post, perhaps encouragement that they too are capable of great change and the ability to set themselves free of the shackles as I feel I have. 

Because of a Willie Nelson concert I met a man. The marriage was short, and horrible, but I was given a beautiful daughter that was an answer to a life long prayer down to the color of her green eyes, her smile, and the curl of her hair. 

Through a second, short, tumultuous relationship, I was blessed with an incredible son. He's handsome, intelligent, funny, with staunch convictions and a smile and laugh that could light the world.

Due to my troubled past God sent me the love of my life, to guide me, teach me, to be a true father for my two small kidlets, and the opportunity to build a wonderful, eventful, life together.

Through the misfortune of others I gained more miraculous children that forever changed my life.

Through the rape of one of my daughters we gained an amazing grand son. He's caring, so very smart, driven, and a genuine humanitarian. Just to think of him makes my heart overflow with joy and awe.

Through the death of a grand son I gained an opportunity to prioritize the truly important from things much less so. Not only witnessing my grand son's fight to die, but watching my child as she watched her child die, was agonizing but taught me we only see the dark threads and knots beneath the tapestry being created, One day we shall see the importance those dark threads and knots made in the completion, and beauty, of the finished masterpiece.

Through the death of my mother I gained a much needed relationship with my father, heart felt admissions and apologies, true, unconditional love, answers to the unanswered, and getting a better grip on the fact, that while in no way perfect, my parents did the best they could with the hands they had been dealt. For that I am thankful. It gave me the room to realize no parent is ever capable of doing everything right even though, generally, our intentions are to do so, but life sometimes gets in the way. I should re-phrase that, life always gets in the way and we all deviate from our paths. That doesn't make us worse than, it makes us human.

It allowed me to see, to know, my parents were in fact human, humans make mistakes and bad choices. Even when our intentions are good, there is not one of us that escapes failure. Through those last 13 months alone with my father, I came to know they did their best, and that is all I could ever ask. The good far outweighs the bad. I choose to remember, and cherish, the good, from the bad I choose to learn.

Seeing my granddaughter, delivered alive at 24 weeks, lying on a table, purple and lifeless, surrounded by a team attempting to keep her alive, set off a string of events I was unable to put together until recently. Her early birth was the trigger that brought flashbacks that ultimately sent me over the edge.

Because of the effects of unspeakable, and tremendous, past trauma, and my self destruction, I lost the ones I loved most. I was weak. I broke.

Through the seeming failure of a more than 2 decade marriage, and separation from my mate, I gained clarity.

Through the relationship with a grifter I gained self worth, self reliance and the ability to face, and heal from, the PTSD that heavily contributed to the failure of the marriage to my one, true, love.

What I gained from my relationship with the grifter is really what I would like to address in this post. I gained much more than I lost, and am so thankful that even though in the eyes of the world I appeared to willingly walk into the den of the devil, in reality I was set free from his talons, and bestowed with great gifts I could have never received otherwise.

I was kept isolated in a way that allowed me to reflect on my path, my mistakes, my choices, both good and bad, in the course of my life.

I was able to clearly see my part in the destruction of the relationship with my best friend.

I was shown the way I contributed to some of the actions of my true, God given, husband, that drove me from him, and him from me. For that I take ownership.

I was allowed to feel, to experience, how I made the other half of my soul feel when I shut him down by fleeing my inner demons, the experiences that haunted my subconscious mind and led to my implosion, and that of my family.

I was given quietness, the time, the insight, to see how horribly I failed, in so many ways, as a parent, as a wife, and as a friend. I also realized the opposite as well. I was reminded countless times of how I had changed patterns of my parents and did wonderful things for my family, although in many areas I did fail them, myself, and my spouse. No parent is perfect, not one. I am thankful I was given the opportunity to see how my insecurities, and events I kept buried deep within, led to an unhealthy co-dependency with some of my children that placed burdens on them that were not theirs to carry. That cannot be undone, only learned from.

My life was emptied, some by my choice, some by their choice, of those that weighed me down and kept me from growing. By doing so I was able to bloom myself and realize I had the ability to analyze, realize, grow, and change my thought patterns, my self destructive ways, and become the person, I believe, God intended me to be. I came to know the difference in needing and wanting people and material items.

I was given the courage to face my downfalls, see my failures, make amends when possible, ask for forgiveness, and realize that everything happens for a reason, and sometimes that reason is that we are stupid, blind, and make bad decisions.

I was able to learn that I was, and am,  responsible for myself. I have the power within my being to remain the same or to change. I choose change and bettering myself for my husband and for my family, but most of all for myself. For if I cannot be willing to change for myself, I will only fail spectacularly again. Failure is inevitable, without failure there can be no growth. Learning from failure is optional, and I choose to learn.

I'm reminded of the quote of Thomas Edison, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." I will use my failures to learn what doesn't work, what should not be repeated, and not to be ashamed of them. My failures are what made me who I am today. Without them, without this past three years, I honestly don't see how I could have made the personal progress I have made.

Besides being led back to my one true love, with a much deeper respect, love, and relationship, I was also, through that seemingly bad relationship choice, given the gift of friendship, new friends that have become family, the ability to realize, and separate, the wheat from the chaff, and knowing, seeing, feeling the changes in, and around my life.

How could I possibly be anything but thankful?

Most sincerely,


Stranger In The Night

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Monday night we were soundly sleeping when, as if in a dream, we heard a frantic voice coming from outside our room. It took us both several minutes to realize someone was knocking on our bedroom door trying to alert us that our 24 year old, mentally ill,  homeless, son was on the front steps outside of our house.

Fighting fogginess we found clothes and fumbled up the stairs to the front porch. It had been months since I had seen him, years since his father had. He sat slumped forward, his head down, his sun kissed face was covered with an unkempt beard, and dark brown curls fell over eyes filled with tears.

He was looking at his hands, hands that appeared not to have been washed in months. His father, shocked at the appearance of the child once so playful and inquisitive, broke down sobbing at the sight of what was before him, our broken son, one that never leaves out thoughts but is rarely in our presence.

Before us sat an adult, with the mind of a child, that has chosen life in the maze of tent cities downtown. For years we've tried, to the detriment of our other children at times, to help him find his way. Mental illness has him tightly gripped in its talons. It's not a sight any parent should have to behold. Our son did not choose the life he now leads.

With each passing year he seems to worsen, the demons pull him further into their clutches from which there appears no escape. I've immersed myself into the world of social workers, hospitals, clinics, all seemingly in vain.

We brought him inside gave him towels for a shower and looked for clothes that he could wear. As he was cleaning himself of the grime of the city streets we prepared a place for him to sleep and heated up leftovers from that night's dinner. It was most likely the first "real" food he had eaten since he was last here.

It's more than impossible to help a person that is so transient. As soon as we get a plan of action he fades into the endless, interchangeable, faces that fill the nooks and crannies of so many pockets in the Portland area. Last night I was able to find a contact number of a case worker I met last year that had been working with us to help our son.

Through endless phone calls, a trip to the ED where surgery was preformed on an abscess deep within his neck, more connections were made. Ones that will hopefully lead to being able to gain guardianship, a road to housing and a more stable life, and a safer environment for the child placed in our family as a fragile newborn.

I watched as people judged him by his appearance. I saw them judge me because I am his mother. I saw them look at my clothing, my jewelry, my handbag, and I watched as they appeared to be wondering how could I allow him to end up this way? "Why can't you take him home?" I saw them thinking. The ignorance is appalling. We fought for years to help our son. His illness is severe and the potential for great harm to us cannot be overlooked. It's a fine line a parent must walk to help a child like ours while staying safe ourselves.

People judge but they do not know our plight, the story behind the faces. One nurse must have sensed my bewilderment at the attitude of others and took me aside and kindly told me there are not many in my son's position that have parents that care enough to try as we have, to fight the endless fight. She had been looking through his records and had seen how often we had been there fighting unable to make much progress. 

When I looked in on him after surgery I didn't see a homeless man, but rather my son soundly sleeping, safely, within the confines of a hospital room. I saw the child that kept us on our toes, the boy that played his guitar and sang endlessly. I saw the one that graduated culinary school. I saw his smiling face and twinkling eyes of days long gone. I saw the heart now being held captive by an illness that has put him into a reality not of this world.

I pulled the blankets up, tucked in my son, kissed him on the forehead, and fighting tears, left him in the care of strangers for the night.


The Long Way Home

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

It was one of those rare, perfect, days to ride. The sun was high, shining in the cloudless, bright blue, sky. The air was warm, with no more than a faint breeze. It was one of those days that I was one with my bike, and felt the bondage of recent years broken as I rode through the Oregon countryside.

At one point I, as I passed the spot where I was hit ten years ago, my body remembered what my mind had buried. It was only for a moment, but I felt the heat of my arm lying on the highway with bits of rocks, dirt, and glass, between my flesh and the scorching pavement.

Flashes of memory, I'm not sure if they were recollections of the actual event or if I was recalling the journal entries I had written following the accident, ran through my mind, people, cars, fears, doctors, and much more.

Minutes after I passed that fateful site I settled back into riding. I felt so free, so unencumbered, so exhilarated, as I traveled the the road I had ridden many times before.

I rode for hours with the indescribable feeling of being set free. I took in all I could of the journey that day, the smell of freshly baled hay, the warmth of the sun on my face, the scent of blooming flowers wafting in the air, and the occasional sting of a bug hitting my face.

Riders know the feeling. The feeling of being one with our surroundings, and the ability to be set free of work, stress, problems, and the like. It is an experience like no other.

On the way home I downshifted as I exited the highway. I'm, not sure why these thoughts entered my mind, but I thought of when I first began to ride. I would call my father each day and ask, "Dad, when will I get this? When will it become natural? When will it become less stressful?"

His answer was that of a teacher of many things. "Teri, you'll become much more comfortable after 400 miles. Each mile after that becomes more effortless. Then one day you'll realize, after many, many, miles have gone by, that sometime in the past it clicked and became second nature."  Perhaps I thought of it because that day, so many years after I first began riding, I recognized how natural it was. I didn't have to think to downshift, I didn't have to think when to roll back the throttle, I didn't have to think about turning on my signals. I just did.

I could see Dad smiling, I rolled back the throttle and took the long way home.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

All Rights Reserved

© 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

All rights reserved. Content, both written and original photographs, may not be copied or used in any way without consent.

  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009

Back to TOP