Monday, July 20, 2009

MY 100TH POST!!!!!!

I am quite excited that that is my 100th post. It is a land mark, so to speak. One of my first thoughts as I approach this marker was of my Grandmother - my Mom's mom. She died when I was eight. I remember her so well though. She made home made macaroni on Sundays and always had the largest peaches on her table. She always had loose Brioschi in her front apron pocket and munched on it all day like candy. She called my Dad - "Jackie" - which was not his name. :-) She was first generation here form Sereno, Italy, landing at Ellis Island around the turn of the century give or take 10 years. She was a "Luciano" and definitely related to "Lucky" (the gangster).......that part of my heritage is fascinating. Weddings and funerals in our family looked like something right off the set of the 'Soprano's.... My grandmother raised six children on her own during the depression. Her husband died at age 39 of pneumonia. She died at age 60. I recall gong to her 'wake'. It changed me forever.

Back to my original thought. My Mom told me that when she was a little girl and my Gram would dry the silverware and put it in the draw in the table she would count............." ninety nine........one hundred" as she put the last two pieces in the drawer!!! Clearly there were not 99 pieces of flatware but she always said ".........ninety nine, one hundred"!! Now a days that would be called OCD!! :-) So as I write my 100th post I was reminded of my grandmother's OCD, "...............ninety nine, one hundred".

I thought some 'snippets' of previous posts would be fitting............. and this is a long post, so settle in, ok?

FIRST POST-


Hi and welcome............

I am Gail, from the east coast. I will keep this short. Your "It" is your truth(s). People go to great lengths to separate themselves from themselves, up to and including death. Wishing so desperately that something they did or that was done to them was not true. The challenge and purpose, I hope, of this forum is for people to find a place to stop running from themselves; TO STOP AND STAND IN THEIR OWN TRUTH, FINALLY, AND FACE "IT" WHATEVER "IT" IS.....

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For the sake of this writing let's all agree that acceptance happens in our heads. It is a conflict of thoughts; bargaining, arguing, angering, resisting, denying, fighting, wishing, praying, begging, raging - getting the picture? It is pure chaos!

So what of surrender then? It happens deep inside. It is a total experience and captures our essence and core. It is: a relief, peaceful, hopeful, freeing, pure, cleansing, and has a new direction. New direction? Yes. A new direction. Stay with me here.

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I challenge you to look at the people in your lives and put them in that fenced in area with you. If there were an event that dictated you getting out of that fenced in area would they go over the fence and leave you behind or would they reach back and help you to safety. You already know which people in your life would go on without you and which one's would never leave you behind. Get rid of the one's that would go on without you and hang on tightly to the one's that would never leave you behind and that are truly "Over The Fence" people. And by the way, which one are you?

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Hi, my name is Annie. Yes- Annie. She is me, the kid in me. Every adult should name the kid in them. The professionals refer to that as the 'inner child'. I like, - 'the kid in me'. Now that I have freed her to "be" that part of me is alive and vibrant and strong and loud and rebellious and a trouble maker, playful and a fighter and scared and courageous and cautious and brave and to think I tried to keep the kid in me hidden because she is a wounded kid too. No one can see or know of the wound, the "it", right? Shudder at the thought. Fooey.

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JAMES/DANIEL/JILL

I mentioned James in an earlier post. James is a priest, well he was, now he is a minister in a non-Catholic arena. Anyway, James dug Annie out of the grave; freed her, parented her, challenged her, loved her, listened to her, scolded her, played with her, cared enough to even shake her once, and he promised her a life time friendship and then one day he was gone.
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This really got me to thinking about my "nests". I have my "home-nest", my "family nest", my "friend's-nest" my "work-nest", my "community-nest", my "blog/email-nest", my "town-nest", my "state-nest", and my "country-nest" For this writing my focus will be on the first few; home-family-friends-work. That is where most of my"world" matters on a day to day basis. It is where and how I have chosen to belong and with whom.
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I am living and loving in some promises given and received these days and I have been for almost 20 years. These promises, vows, have become ever more important, increasingly valuable, life sustaining, celebratory, comforting, contagious, enlightening, powerful, and enforced every day. I look back upon a myriad of broken promises and the 'promise' I have been gifted with in my life for almost two decades surpass and over shadow all the broken promises that shattered me before. They are all a distant memory. Their purpose? - was to give me great delight in the vast difference of then and now.

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NOVEMBER

November is my favorite month of all, Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. I muddle through October. October is when I first encountered the teacher. October was also the final "IT" with Daniel, the priest. The colors and smells are quite provoking. October is also the month my Dad died, October 22nd to be exact. It is 25 years this year - a very odd and distant, yet 'only yesterday' marker.
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MONSTER

After being ordered to remove clothing I waited nervously as I stood awkwardly before the monster who glared at me anxious to make me his next victim. I was exposed, half naked and frightened. I felt his cold stare and saw the strength of his stature and knew there was no escape. It was just me and him. I was given commands to move closer to him and stay still. His touch was anything but kind and his intent was to look through me and enter me in places I couldn't see or reach
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Apricot Brandy!

"I am going to buy myself a bottle of apricot brandy"!!

Hearing those words from my Mom this morning filled me with gratitude and hope. She had received some money in one of her birthday cards and decided to 'treat herself' for her "85th"
birthday, tomorrow. Of all the things she could have said she needed to do or get or deal with she spoke happily of apricot brandy.
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"CHOICE" and how not to be "Tied To Te Whipping Post"

I just deleted a "post", titled "Tied To The Whipping Post", named after a song by the Allman Brother's Band. I saved it in a document for later posting. It wasn't time. Perhaps it will never be the right time.
I was definitely strongly challenged regarding an understanding I live by that explains perfectly, all human behavior. I am going to put it out here for your considerations. I have touched on this in earlier posts. Here goes: This is founded in William Glasser's 'Choice Theory' upon which the counseling style 'Reality Therapy' was developed. For this writing the focus will be an explanation of 'Choice Theory', earlier referred to as 'Control Theory'. To validate my right to even explain this I will tell you I am certified in this theory, on the Board of Directors of The New England Association of Reality Therapy and live freely, not blaming or as a victim by knowing its rationale.
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A new tradition has been born with "HOPE." I realized that this Norfolk Pine is a tangible reflection of hope. In honoring that thinking, we hung two items on her diamond dust needles. Items that mean 'hope' to us
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The oppressed memory, now active has facets of insight that slowly have made their intent known to me. I am accepting, however I am ridiculously surprised. How can that be given all I have embraced? And, I am remembering the other victim - made to watch, we were eleven.
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I am blessed to love and be loved. I am filled with gratitude that all my senses are alive - I can see, smell, touch, hear and taste. I can see the beauty of Winter, - I can smell the warmth of wood burning, the innocence of snow and the spices of Winter foods, I can touch my family and friends in long embraces, I can hear music, laughter and wind and ice storms and words of love and kindness, I can taste the delicious bounty of home made traditional holiday foods and wine. I am surrounded by all of it and I am drowning myself in every wondrous simple truth.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I Was Lost And Now I Am Found

Somehow, as of late, I lost myself on this blogging venture. My blog is about truth. It is about owning my truth and loving myself regardless of the details. It has been no easy journey to self, to the truth and I am integrated with it all. My writings also give honor to my life as it is today. I am blessed to be very content in my marriage. Our love is kind, adoring, purposeful, powerful, peaceful and free. We share these gifts of "us" and our humble home with others as it is impossible to contain, nor would we want to. It is bigger than "us."
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MBB is solid. A pillar of all that is good and 'just' in this world. He has an amazing sense of humor too. He often wishes I would have saved his dead twin, claiming he would have carried it around in a jar with him. I have no doubt that he would. (MBB is my son, the post is titled "My Best Boy")
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Friday, January 16, 2009

All We Need Is Love

I am safe here, protected, if you will. I have no fear of ground war attacks or missiles being fired or raids of any kind. I live in peace. I make no apologies for this - it is the life into which I was born. And we live quite simply - try not to take more than we need and we give back often until it hurts. We share.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Room With The Window Facing East

She said, "I need a room where there is a window facing East." The woman nodded with understanding, assuring her it would be so. She felt accomplished, successful and certainly relieved that she could make this happen, for him - her husband of 40+ years, and for her too -committed to honoring his wishes. She said, I know how to do what is necessary for death but I don't know how to do the dieing. I answered, "yes you do Sis, you are doing it."
Their 45 year relationship had it's share of events. They were not spared nor were they denied all life has to offer and take away. They weathered every storm and rallied together like a force to be reckoned with. Three sons - all strong and right. Their eldest? Died an untimely death at age 32. And where most would fall apart they bonded together. After all is said and done, love won. Yes, love withstood the tests of time and tragedy, and illness and became alive again through truth and understanding and honoring one simple request of millions over the years.. What brought them together back in 1962 is still evident today. I know because I witnessed it. Those words, "I need a room with a window facing East" will stay with me forever. To think of all that we ask, even demand of those we love and selfishly at times refuse or resent doing and at the end - it all comes down to just one room with one window facing East, two people that survived against all odds, loved no matter what, forgave and held on, raged and relented, believed and kept hope alive - so on this day, one day in January they can sit together, hand in hand, facing East and watch the magnificence of the sun rising upon them, together, one more time.

Love Gail
peace....
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I laid my head on his chest and for a while I covered him with cascading hair and tears - I whispered - "I love you Kel." The music played on...............'Blowin In The Wind, '500 miles', 'Stew Ball', 'Lemon Tree', a Jewish final prayer was sung to him. His body stayed warm - giving back what felt like love and essence to those surrounding him. The love in the room was bigger than death.

Rest now Kel, rest...............................
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Monday, February 9, 2009

At The Core

Kel's death has had a profound impact. It is interesting to me, considering my own thoughts; fears, hopes, denials, realities, and what it all means. In one breath I am telling Skipp we need to buy two cemetery plots where the rest of my family is and will be buried and in the next breath I am saying, fuck it -let's just sell everything, buy an RV and take off. I like the idea of an RV because it would have it's own bathroom which, is one of my realities - the need to have a bathroom in close proximity.
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I am lucky to have a best good friend. I can tell her anything and I never worry about judgment or an 'eye-roll' or a raised eyebrow. We trust each other with our secrets and we celebrate our joys and agonize over our sorrows. JoJo and I are forever friends - of the heart.
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Our trip to the South Bronx to visit our son for his 25th birthday was perfect. The high school at which he teaches English is a castle, yes, a castle right in the middle of the South Bronx. (post dated 3/19/09.)
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The Canadian geese seem delighted with one another too. She dotes, he hunts, and then they calmly sail along, side by side......................stopping only to poke at each other as if to say, "I'm glad you are mine". (post- 3/29/09).

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As the song builds so do I - to tears and my hands raised in desperate hope - hope that one day we can all reach across lines of prejudice, difference, and indifference and offer acceptance, understanding and love. Oh yes, I am an idealist and proud of it......it begins with you and with me-what we teach our children and those we influence - the change begins with you and with me. In this song one Mom believed in the innocence of one daughter - joined her in her desire to love. The power of that is great (post 4/1/09.)
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Great song- great video :-)


A universal understanding - A smile. :-) (Post w/video dated 4/6/09)
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Everybody hurts, some time,..so hold on...................... this song, wow. It sends chills, ya know? I was commenting over at Grizzlies amazing site about nature, and Easter and traditions around Easter, what was, what is no longer, what is, and I found myself sharing that "it" hurt then and "it" hurts now. His responses were beautiful, and comforting and understanding and with what I experienced as heartfelt concern and wishes for me to move on, let go, be happy. All of his wishes are true, - I have moved on, I am happy - and I believe this is true because I have not let go. Let me explain:

I believe people go to great lengths to separate themselves from themselves, - up to and including death. I have witnessed this in my work in addictions services countless times. This fight to separate is almost always about something they did or something that was done to them that they wish were not true. For me, what I experienced at the hands of Roman Catholic Clergy is unimaginable, and yet "it" is true, "it" is part of my truth. And the truth is "it" hurt me, deeply. No matter how far I move on or how much I heal the experience was what it was and in my moving forward I honor that. I am actually grateful I can feel "it" when I choose to. The difference is, I am in charge now - "it" is my experience to accept as it happened. My wishing it were not true would be wasted energy and I would be living falsely were I to try, let alone succeed. My past is just that, my past. I cannot pick and choose which events I will hold on to or let go of, they are all part of my unique tapestry of design - all the colors that make me, me. Each one is as it should be.

When a day, such as Easter comes along I remember years passed when I was part of a faith community and so yes, I 'feel' the loss and I remember why I am no longer involved with church. The why is painful, it is suppose to be, I was hurt. At the same time I realize my strength, gifts if you will that resulted from the hurt. My faith is strong, my wisdom abounds, my surrender and acceptance of it all is integrated. What is tragic betrayal and frightening abuse are also some of my greatest gifts because "it" is part of me, and a source of my strength. In order for me to love myself I must love all of me. I didn't come to this place easily or quickly - it was/is a journey and I arrived, whole and enlightened.

So yes, "Everybody hurts"..............so hold on, I did................don't let go. There is a price for that - a high price. What I did with the truth, the hurt is the greater promise - reality......because now, "it" no longer has me tied to the whipping post - I am free, and not of the experience, quite the opposite -I am free to "be", dare I say, in the light because I don't have to hide or keep "it" hidden - remember, "it" is now one of my gifts of self, - I, like you, are a gift - and nothing, or no one can take that from me or from you, only if I/you let them. Don't let them. And don't let go, hold on.............................and at the risk of over-stating, this is "tragedy to triumph", yes, triumph, indeed.



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I think this song is a perfect way to conclude my 100th post. Almost perfect. You, like me, have to hang on.........
hold on..........it's all good.

Love Gail
peace......


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Now this is perfect.



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26 comments:

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

First, congratulations on…ninety-eight…ninety-nine…one hundred!

ONE…HUNDRED…POSTS! How cool.

Now, you've had your practice sessions—set your sights on 200, 300, or more! (All this coming from a guy with merely fifty-something more posts than you under his belt, mind you.)

I like your excerpts. My two favorites are the one about your sister and brother-in-law asking for an east-facing window (I thinks that's just such a wonderful story) and in an entirely different vein, you mother's decision to buy herself a bottle of apricot brandy (although, in some ways, there's a similarity in that in bothe stories, the desires hinge on the small things in life making a profound difference—an east-facing window, a bottle of apricot brandy).

Happy 100th! :-)

Gail said...

Hi Grizz-

I recall your 100th post celebration day too!! :-)
And you have commented and captured two very profound examples of life's flow.........each with dramatic and purposeful intent.

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

p.s. I am SO honored that YOU are celebrating with me today.

Eileen said...

Congratulations on your 100th post!

Great idea to re-cap! I enjoyed them all, most heart-warming and most heart-breaking was your sister and brother-in-law's love story. Beautiful love story. Almost scary to love that deeply sometimes.

And I found the Annie post intriguing.
Was the 'inner child' concept your own idea or one brought about by another?

Great post!

Gail said...

Hi Eileen-
So nice to see you. And yes, my sister and her husband's love-life story is profound and beautiful.

Annie was freed by the first priest - who is "James" in my writings. Regardless of how he betrayed me later on, I will always honor our time when it was pure... he introduced me to the Jesus in me and to Annie - gifts that changed me forever.

Love to you'
Gail
peace.........

Andy said...

Congratulations on your 100th post Gail. It requires more than one sitting to read it all though! :-)

Gail said...

Hi Andy-

ya, I know - I said it was long. phew.
Always SO nice to see you here.

Love Gail
peace......

The Rambling Taoist said...

If this is how you celebrate your 100th post, me thinks the computers of the world will merrily explode when the celebration is for your 1,000th post! :D)

Gail said...

Hi R T-

"Thanks.............." here's to a thousand!!!

love Gail
peace.....

PENolan said...

I'll second that: Here's to 1000
xo
Trish

ps: the word verification is growsher which I'm going to take as a sign that her is growing ;)

Val said...

I read it all in one sitting. ; )

It touched me deeply. Thank you so much for sharing.

Gail said...

Hi Val-

So nice to see you here and for hanging in to read the entire post. phew. :-)
So glda you liked it.

Love to you
Gail
peace....

Gail said...

Hi Trish-

I love ya girl. And yes, "her is growing" :-)

Gail
peace......

Teresa said...

Wow, Gail, I truly loved reading your post today. I too was intriqued with the inner child part. I think I am going to choose a name for my inner child. I also had a pastor who helped me free myself too, and later betrayed me...how interesting. I think I will choose the name Linda, for my inner child, because, my parents almost named me Linda, but then decided on Teresa, (not sure how that happened, or why). Smile and hugs and blessings to you Gail,
Teresa

Wanda said...

I started your 100th post yesterday...was distracted by sudden visit of grandchildren...

Now this morning, with it's quiet solitude, I was able to give your post the full attention it so well deserved Gail.

Like Grizz and Eileen...your sister and brother in law's touching story was so appreciated.
You have used your life experiences for inspiring stories...my inner child would be known as Wendie!

Your 100th post was enthralling Gail! Thanks!

Gail said...

Dear Wanda/Wendie

I am so glad you were touched by this post and that you have now named yor inner child - "Wendie"...I feel so honored.

And yes, my sister and her husband's love story is powerful.

And to say that my post was "enthralling"!! My goodness - I am blushing.

Love to you
Gail
Peace.....

Gail said...

Hi Teresa/Linda

And I am so interested Teesa in your betrayal by clergy.I am sorry that happened to you. Were you able to read the entire post titled "James-Daniel-Jill"?? That is a condensed version of what happened. Once you do perhaps w can email.

I am so thrilled that you too are naming your inner child. :-) "Linda".

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Mark said...

Congrats on your 100th post! Thanks for sharing the memory of your Grandmother, very special. Looking forward to the next 100 posts!

Gail said...

Hi Mark-

thanks SO much for your kind words.

Love Gail
peace.....

giggles said...

Hey there..... I have to jump through an extra hoop for you to show up on my blogroll....haven't done that yet... At least I think that's why you don't automatically show up there.... So you could return the favor, yes??!!

Congratulations on 100!!!!! I like your review of the best!!

Keep on writing sista!

giggles said...

Oh. SIlly me!!!!! You DID! Sorry for not paying attention!!!!

Gail said...

Hi Giggles-

So nice to see you here. And I am definitely a "follower" of your blog, and I listed you on my 'blog-list' which appears at the bottom of my posts - however, I have yet to see your blog name appear and I added you twice now. eesh....

I will keep checking.

anne partain said...

Hi Gail, Wow, 100 posts and still a postin'!

Please forgive me, I couldn't read it all. I can't read a lot of anything any more. But I did find some things I really liked.

I love the story of your grandmother. And....this "People go to great lengths to separate themselves from themselves".

We really do don't we. I know that's what keeps things going here and that we wouldn't separate ourselves if we understood. But, it is all good!

I heard something a while back that stuck with me. I think you will like it to. It was "every opportunity" it means that children find every opportunity to play and celebrate. So, happy, happy, happy first 100 from my child to yours!

xoxoAnne

Gail said...

Hi Anne-

thank you so much for your kind words to me.

and children don't miss a thing!! :-) I received much positive feedback and interest in the inner child journey so my next post is going to delve a little deeper.

Love to you
Gail/Annie
peace.....

Choices said...

Gail, First I want to say thank you so much for your visit to my blog. Thank you for your compliments on my writings. I read your blog and I really enjoyed all of it.
The love story of my sister and her husband really hit me hard and it reminding me of my own family. My brother and sister in law lost their son of 29 years in an untimely tragic death 3 years ago. Through their strong love and bond they have gotten closer and have prevailed. My innner child is Annie. There was a time in my life where,I thought Do I want my neices and nephews to call me Annie, but then I realized that is who I am. So, to my family I will always be Annie, but to others I am just Anne.
Life is a journey and we get stronger and stronger each day.
Life is Good!!
Come back and visit me again. I will do the same.
Take care.

Gail said...

Hi Annie-

Wow, 'Annie' is my inner child's name too. So nice to see you here and I SO appreciate your kind words to me.
I am sorry to hear of your sister and husband's loss of their son. My sister, and her husband lost their first born son as well, it will be 7 years in November,. This was her first year to carry this loss alone because Kel died in January. Oh my.

I am SO happy to meet you and I will frequent your blog.

Love and peace
Gail

a corgi said...

hi; took the time to read your 100th post; I'm so sorry about your past; it is soooo sad to read stories like this, and sad when traumatic events like this take people out of church (though I understand why it would) but the very place where one should go for hope and peace turns out to be one place they want to avoid; surely not what God intended of his church

(to answer your question, my two private blogs are basically for me and one other person; I had one of them opened up for more readers, but what I wrote there I think changed their perspective of me so I just made it for my eyes only -- mainly chronically things going on in my life, I don't write on my public blog a lot of private details, won't post pictures of family, won't give names of family members, etc -- and the other journal "no longer a spiritual orphan" is a healing journal so to speak, again private at this time in my life; not sure if I'm going to open it to more readers or not; thanks for asking though :)

looking forward to getting to know you more

betty