Tuesday, September 28, 2010

October is MY month

WARNING - ***Some sexual content towards the end*****

October - arrives every year.  For the most part I am thrilled by the ever-changing temperatures to cooler and dryer and all the vibrant spicy colors and the smells of wood fires and stews, soups, pies and flavored coffee.  It is a promising time of year.

And so too it is a time to reflect, honor truths and realize the power of a healing journey. Some of my biggest "it's" are in October - it is when the teacher first kept me after school and ________________, And it is the big session with the priest when he hurt me in the name of his drunken Jesus.  I can still feel the back of his hand across my face when I resisted him.  It was so awful. October holds many memories.  And I have a right to feel them, honor my truths and believe in the power of healing. For years I ran from myself and what happened with the teacher which brought me all the way to the priest.     After what he did to me it was the only time I ever wanted to die - because to live in the light of such truth was just too much.     But it wasn't too much.  I stood up and faced myself and screamed in the light of day my worst fears and memories until that which was killing me began to give me life.  My life - as it truly was, no hiding, no running, no escaping - no death wish - I was finally free - finally real - finally in the light and I have been ever since.  Hallelujah!

For years, in October I would intensify my escape with self harming behaviors.  Every feeling was numbed.  Every memory pushed deep inside - unreachable.  And now?  Every memory and feeling is available to me.  I choose how much thought and honor I want to give to my truths and in that I am empowered,  My "it's" no longer haunt me or have power over me - I cannot begin to tell you how truly life-giving truth is - regardless of the details - self truths in the light are purposeful and of great value, sources of strength and power - it is when I hid then that I was weakened and afraid and on the run from my self.  No more - Never again!! 

I will spend time in my brook this month, feeling the cool waters and muddy and rocky bed on my feet - I will remember everything.  I will cry and scream as I feel and remember the teacher penetrating me, the priest too, hurting me so much - his hands every where - the weight of their bodies on mine - me, hardly able to breathe ...... the surrender when I gave in to their force.  These are some of my "it's", forever..................

And also October 22nd - is when my Dad passed away. I miss him still. every day. And this month we start to remember what he did the last few weeks of his life. Me, my Mom and my Sister - we will re-live all the days. It is all quite bittersweet.

October is my month to emote. Not hide or cringe or fear but to stand up tall - lift my face to the sky in full truth and light and "be"...Amen.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A good experience

I was surprised that I even went.  It was my first time back to my place of employment since leaving there on disability a year ago. I had a lot of projected fears to overcome before I walked through the doors. I pondered for a few days. The occasion was a 'work-bridal-shower' for my dear friend who also was my intern at my work. It was important for me to go for her regardless of how unsettled I was about how I would feel going back.  I want you all to know it was wonderful.  I was so well received and attended to.  I felt as if no time had passed and that I still had a place in the hearts and minds of so many of my co-workers.  The Vice-President herself said,  "your blood is in this place and you were the best Half-way-house manager I ever had!!  :-)  How's that??? And, if that wasn't enough, -  as I was leaving, the elevator stopped on the second floor which is where my office was for years - and I hear this voice calling my name...."Gail, do you remember me?"  I struggled to recall her and she just chimed in , You were my counselor three years ago and I have been 'clean' all that time 'til now....and I had a baby!!""  I wished her well and told her how good it was to see her and as the elevator door closed  I heard her say to the other clients,  "that's Gail, she was my counselor three years ago, she was the best......!!!""  Can you even freaking stand it??   WOW!
I was on a cloud the rest of the day!!

I simply wanted you all to know of my good experience.  :-) 

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Family Gathering

A family gathering - one filled with so many blessings and promises.  Four sisters, together at last.  All so loving and adorable.  My Mom - 87 come November- Louise (Italian birth name - Liberata),  My Aunt Marie - 90 come January (Italian birth name - Gallucci)  Aunt Dusty 85 come April (Italian birth name - Isabella)  Aunt Honey 83 come June -(Italian birth name - Marta),  their brother Tom, (Italian Birth name - Giatano) and their sister Connie (Italian birth name Concetta) have passed away.  And there was a set of twins born after my Mom who died at birth.  My grandmother raised six children on her own when her husband died of pneumonia at age 39.  Aunt Connie had kidney failure and was on dialysis for 8 years.  Aunt Dusty is on dialysis only starting a few months before my Mom.  Whom, as you all know, is now on dialysis.  To see them all together was such a gift.  Aunts Dusty and Honey never married.  They went from living with my grandmother to working for priests as housekeepers at various rectories for 30 years.  Can you even imagine?  And wow, do they have stories untold.  They also dress exactly alike, and I mean exactly.  They look like twins although they are three years apart. :-)
See picture below and enlarge so you can see them better.  amazing huh?

  And here are the four sisters together, below. My Mom is in the red, next to her is Aunt Marie, then Aunt Dusty and then Aunt Honey. 

And 6 of the nine first cousins were all there, as well.  Our oldest, Tommy Boy,  second oldest, Sandy, then Patty, my sister Nancy, me, and the youngest, Lenore.  One of our cousins, Nick, is in Florida, another-Lucy, was sick, and Anthony couldn't make it.

We had a wonderful time together.  Tommy-Boy was in from Colorado so we gathered at cousin Patty's house for our mini reunion.  We even have a family "song" which we wrote when I was a kid.  We would meet to plan family outings and events and always open our meeting with this song.  Here are the words to "The Rels"

We are the rels you see
formed from a happy family
our meetings are never planned in advance
we meet when we can
and usually by chance

we always have laughter
and plenty of song
our refreshments are many
but never last long

our motto is to love and be strong
and with unity
we will never go wrong

rah rah rah!!

cool huh??  :-) 

One of my cousins was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and it has metastasized to the liver.  It is stage four.  We all offered our love and support and continued prayers and hope.  I don't want to say which cousin due to privacy,  I am sure you understand.  It is a difficult time for many in our family and we are fortunate to have such unity of love and support.  So this reunion was special in so many, many ways.  The tears and laughter were abundant as was the food and wine.  We broke bread, ate, drank, sang, laughed, cried and reminisced.  It was all so wonderful. 

Family is a powerful force.  Yes, family.  Amen.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

House of Lies

The air is a bit damp tonight, following much needed rain storms.  The wind howled and the leaves shivered and were tossed about.  The force was magnificent.  I do enjoy the power of nature.  Autumn is approaching quickly and with certainty.  The colors are deepening more and more and the shadows continue to bounce off glass table tops and through windows and glass sliders.  I feel I am in a swirl of ever changing color and deepening.  I bow to the Master, surrender to the force, face the wind and dance in color. Despite the continuing pain of this recovery I move with courage,   and I am cautious yet determined.  

I wonder where strength will come from to face other life's mysteries that are unfolding.  I am watching a house of lies crumble - one escaped, one is still trapped.  I become the reason, the one to blame - it is not true.  I stay strong, outside the house of lies, with the light of truth visible - it cannot be darkened.  I find comfort in that amidst the fear for those still in the house of lies.  I surrender more deeply, believing in truth - light - love. And those no longer inside are free to speak and seek truth - and others are coming in to the light.  And the house of lies is weakened. This is a long time coming - I stayed in the light - I clung to the truth - I did all things with love.  
Still, there is an ache in my heart.  The house of lies still stands, weaker, but it still stands.  I have nothing more than truth and love.  Tell me that is enough.  Please. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

When French Toast is a Miracle!!!!

Time to pick up, lace up, tie up my boot straps and mosey on. The weather is certainly on my side -cool, dry, breezy and filled with promise of the colors that will soon blanket my world. Vibrant oranges, golds, copper, browns, burgundy, rich yellows and spice. I am already smelling soups and stews simmering on the stove, the warmth and smell of our wood stove taking the chill out of the morning air. We are adding to our wine rack, wines of rich red color, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Charas.for a brisk evening with some soup and crusty bread. Or curled up by the fire with some aged cheddar and sesame crackers.

I/we have turned a corner so to speak. We stayed just this side of that turn for over a week - as we wrestled and reconciled the events of late. Now, we are beyond the hurt and fear and settling in to our lives, as they are and with deep gratitude. We are truly blessed.

And my Mom called yesterday morning. And what she said was prayer and music to my ears. She said, "I am going out to breakfast with Nancy (my Sis), for french toast.!!!!!!! There are so many blessing and miracles in that one statement. I told her it was the best news of the year!!!!!

I/we will savor these blessings and miracles today. I will feel the cool breeze on my face as it tosses my long hair about. I will do my exercises outside today and work through the pain and continue healing. AND, three of my dearest friends are coming later and bringing dinner and birthday cake to celebrate my birthday and another one of our circle of friends birthday. How great is that? AND last night a wonderful couple that I reconnected with after years via Face Book came over and we SO enjoyed out time together. They are loving and kind and beautiful and I/we are thrilled to have them back in our lives.

So, all things considered? I'm okay today, more than okay. :-)

Friday, September 3, 2010


The above two pictures speak for themselves. I hit my left side harder and this is the bruising on my arm and elbow. I decided to not post the picture of my butt with the bruises on my left cheek!!

For three days Skipp and I have been in emotional turmoil. Every time we make eye contact we start to cry and kind of clutch and grab on and grapple as we emotionally re-live the fall and the details of it, - all the while intertwined in a desperate moving hug of sorts. Hair and faces are gently stroked, hands held tightly, huge sighs and big tears, heads get lowered on to hands or on to shoulders and a perpetual back and forth of the head that means "no,,no, no"...... words are spoken of apology and "it's not your fault", more tears, more details, more "if only's"..... heating pads, Tylenol, moaning, and so we wrestled with every emotional detail for three days. Exhausting.

It seems that 'one moment' has impacted us harshly. And although we certainly realize the flip on to Wal-Marts pavement was traumatic, what we are experiencing in response is bigger that that and we couldn't seem to reconcile why until today.................. this "flip" is a microcosm of a bigger reality we grapple with and live with and manage every day. Ever since my M S diagnosis and when I have a 'flare-up' Skipp desperately wants to 'fix" it. His desire to help and fix comes form the depths of his loving heart and soul and he agonizes that he can't. When I flipped over in the rollator and he couldn't stop it , it re-enforced, and crystallized his powerlessness and mine too. As much as we are facing this illness together we are powerless, to a degree, over it's path just like on Monday when I began to flip backwards Skipp fell over with me - he couldn't stop me nor himself. We are in this together - sometimes both of us are going along for the ride. That certainly was the case on Monday.

And I am not saying there aren't many things we do to manage this disease together and individually. Regardless, sometimes I/we just have to hold on and hope for the best. It is in those times, when powerlessness is evident and the truth is driven in like a crooked rivet - it is a test and or a testament to the human spirit and strength - and sometimes we pass with flying colors, sometimes we barely make it, and sometimes, well...............you know.