Happy Foto Friday, Everyone! Today we continue the series of photos taken while my husband and I were on a cruise of the Mediterranean. These were photos taken during our day trip to the coast of Italy where we toured several small cities.
I’ve said before that I’m not a religious person, but I put whatever faith I can muster in the universal forces that surround me. I don’t often ask much of them, but when I am tested, I find the same thoughts often come, almost by instinct.
I know I am not worthy, but I beg for you to save me. Let me veer upward instead of to my demise. Give me just one more day.
Maybe it’s just a simple prayer to not die, because these days I have a lot to live for. But so far, the universe has seen fit to allow me to continue. And I mean to keep fighting for as long as I can.
Ugh, I haven’t had a sick post in a while you guys. And not the “check out this awesome bitch’s blog and all its sickness” kind either. I was laid low by some creepy bacteria that infected my body and overthrew my normally well-balanced awesomeness with a particularly unpleasant bout of ickiness.
Every time I get sick, I spend the majority of my time trying to decipher where in my life I picked it up. Was it an icky door handle? Did my son drag this home from daycare? Was it the cursed monkey’s paw that I bought last week? (Seriously, why did I even buy that thing? It doesn’t even grant wishes!)
But in the end, it doesn’t really matter how I got sick, only that I keep the people around me from picking it up. Since my son was sick with something similar about a week before, I’d say it was likely something I got from him, which graciously held off long enough for him to recover so I could come down with it in my own glory. We’ve all been sick with the stomach flu before, and it’s not a pretty sight.
However, because I was so ill, I had to miss my friend’s memorial, which I had been really hoping to attend. Although, with the weather we got pounded with that day, it may not have worked out even if I was in perfect health. But I will say that after sleeping, letting my fever burn off, and dropping about 6 pounds, I am finally on the mend, and getting better.
They say you shouldn’t date anyone you wouldn’t own a dog with. But I say take it slow. Start out with someone you wouldn’t kill a few hours babysitting a pet rock with. Best case scenario, a pet rock needs next to no direct supervision. *raises eyebrows suggestively* Worst case scenario, things go south, you still have a rock.
I say this having almost no real life dating experience whatsoever. I’ve been married so long that anything of value I knew about courtship is as outdated as the USSR entries in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Anything I’ve learned from modern day human interaction is cobbled together from the internet and something called ‘the real world.’
So don’t take it from me kids. I have no idea what I’m talking about!
Sometimes our circumstances dictate our decisions and sometimes it’s the other way around. It is better to seek serenity in letting go of the things we cannot change than to ruminate on what might have been. For memory is often kinder in the remembering than the moment actually lived, but to dwell on its rose-hued visage prevents experience of the present.
The one thing we can control is how we decide to feel about it, the spectrum of emotion overlaid on the experience and its takeaway meaning deciphered. It is only there that we may craft our truth, and resolve to keep what preciousness we deem worthy and let the rest fall away.
My friend died last night. In a world of just horrible shitbag people, my friend Nancy was an angel among them. She was crippled by the monsters that lived in her mind, but held them back with such fierce determination that the only thing she ever let out of that same dark place was all the love and light and kindness she could muster. Nancy had the worst case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder that I’ve ever encountered. She was always apologizing for it, when all it made any of us do was want to make the world easier for her. Because Nancy loved with her whole heart, the people she allowed in her life loved her that much fiercely back, although her disease would never allow her to accept that love. Nancy isolated herself, fearing that she was the worst contamination than any of the things she scrubbed and washed over and over again to remove. The word filth, not only described the tic in her mind that she could not escape, but became how she saw herself.
But, as everyone who loved her can tell you, she was anything but. Nancy once talked her way out of a home invasion by simply telling the would-be burglar in her calm, sweet voice, that “he didn’t live here and couldn’t come in.” She was successful, and after some time, the guy simply gave up and left. Maybe he felt her gentle, but firm spirit, pushing back against him, simply refusing to move, realizing that to harm her would be more monstrous than he had previously imagined. She would buy birdseed for the birds near her apartment, concerned for every lovely tiny creature, before her own well-being. She cleared a vacant lot of brush nearby, covering herself in poison ivy in the process, because to sacrifice her own body to make the world a more beautiful place was simply in her nature. She never gave it a second thought.
Nancy was a huge, unabashed fan of Mr. Rogers. To her mind, there was no kinder or gentler spirit that she could encounter. The same soft spoken manner in which he conducted himself was reflected in the way she interacted with the people around her. She hated bigotry, cruelty and harshness, even getting upset when I shouted at my cat to get off the table, since the kitty was just doing what was in her nature to do. I recall her pulling the animal down, gently, giving it a frank but gentle talking to about boundaries and listening to “mommy.”
I lost touch with her when I moved away, not because I wanted to, but because she didn’t have a phone, nor would she consider using her work email for anything other than business. I always thought that I could find a day to drive up and see her, just pop in on my old job, and see how she was doing. But now I know that I can’t. In the end, her death came quickly. In her last hours, she had no voice. As the people who have mistreated her in the past would have liked it, she had no voice. But those that love her are her voice. We are the voice of those who love others so much, they have no room left to love themselves. And though I couldn’t be there with her, I understand she was surrounded by friends.
I miss my friend. She changed my life in ways she couldn’t possibly imagine. Nancy showed me the depth of her pain as well, and in that moment, I understood both her and myself. For each of us has a glimmer of that same sadness, that same self-loathing, and all of us have that same capacity for unbridled kindness toward our fellow man and creatures of the earth. The world is a little grayer having lost her.
Orange peels are weird. I kept feeling like I was doing it wrong, but apparently, I was on the right track. Once I actually got the damn thing open, it was even worse. I imagined it would be easier to take apart, but the defined segments were like ripping uncooked meat flesh apart.
How people do this for fun, I don’t understand.