There are days.
Days that make you stop and think.
Days that make you dream and wonder.
Days that are filled with memories and magic.
Days that are dripping in sorrow and sadness.
Rick's Uncle Bill died on Saturday morning. June 22, 2015. He's been such a part of my life. I honestly do not remember when he wasn't. Long before Rick and I married. I will miss him. I will never allow his memory, his words, his stories, to be forgotten. I will tell of the times with him. I will tell Rick's stories of his Uncle Bill. I love you Uncle Bill - always have, and forever will!!!
Not being able to be with family thru difficult times is hard for me. It's not that I can fix anything, but just to be near those who have memories, too. I will grieve for myself this week - selfishly some will say - that I cannot be there with Aunt Jerry and the girls, I will not be held by my son and my grandsons as I mourn the loss of such a great man. I will not be able to wrap my arms of understanding and love around Aunt Jerry, who was there so much for me these last 4 years of being a widow. Yes, I will grieve for Uncle Bill, I will grieve for his family and his friends, and I will grieve yet once again for me.
Rick, I sure could use a hug today. A hug of understanding and care. A hug lacking in judgment and criticism. A hug filled with love and memories. Oh Rick!
Life is all about changes. This I know. All too well, I know. Rick used to say that the only certain thing in life was change. Damn, I wish he wasn't right!
I am working on some more changes for me. Physically, emotionally, mentally, hopefully financially as well. There has to be more to life than what I have been surviving on. There has to be life, love, and laughter. I know that all that I decide from this point on will not be met with acceptance and support. However, this is my life and I must do what is best for me. I realize that my choices and decisions affect those in "my world", and I do care about their feelings. I've never been one that cared much what others thought of me, I am my own person, comfortable with me. I do have a heart of concern, in that I don't want to purposely hurt or offend others. But again, this is my life and I must do what is best for me. If I screw it up, it's on me. Sigh. I do my best to weigh everything out, and probably overthink things way too much in the process. There comes a time when you just have to take that step of faith and move on forward, regardless of what others may want or say.
Where will I go? How will I go? What will I do? Where do I start? Will this be a life alone for me? I have many more questions than answers. It's time I give serious thought to those questions and accept what I cannot change, change what I can, and know the difference between the two so that I don't continue to spin my wheels and waste precious time.
I will miss Rick as long as I have breath. There will never be a day where I don't think about him. Not one experience where I don't consider what he would think or how he would feel. Not a morsel of food will pass my lips without wondering, or knowing, how he would react to it, and hearing his words of "how good it is". There will be no sick days or days of pain where I will not hear his caring voice speaking over me. Never will there be a glass of wine, or rum, where I will not look across my glass and see his sparkling eyes smiling at me. But there is healing and hope ... and a life to be lived. It is time to move forward and do what I can to live and laugh and love.
I believe the best way I can honor his memory is to live life to the fullest. He was a man who was honorable, and filled with great passion. He loved to laugh, even at himself. He loved the great outdoors, in all kinds of weather. He loved old westerns and good action movies, as well as the romantic comedies. He was a history nut. And the list of his passions go on ... and on. His children ... his grandchildren ... his family ... his friends ... his wife. I will take a deep breath and continue his legacy of loving and laughing with passion, and living life with honor.
I have made mistakes these past 4 years. Having never been a widow before, and finding no manual on how to do this, I have taken some missteps, I have made choices & decisions that were not the wisest. I have spent money trying to balm over the pain and emptiness. I have eaten, or not eaten, for comfort. I have not slept for fear of the dreams, or fear of not seeing Rick in my sleep. I have lost friendships, not as a direct choice, but more of a indirect effect of a choice made. Family relationships have been torn and hurt, again, not as a direct choice of mine, but as a result of misunderstandings more than anything else. I have held to what I wanted as my life, our life, rather than simply embracing the life I have been handed. Not everything I have done or said has been wrong, but there has been enough wrong to make me have regrets ... but as Rick said so many times - "It's in the past, honey. We do what we think best at the time. Hindsight is always 20/20. If there were mistakes? Then admit it, quit it, and go on." I cannot live in the regrets ... but I can choose more wisely what my next regrets will be.
Life goes on.
My choice is to go on with it.
I will figure this out one moment at a time ... one day at a time.
Mistakes, regrets, defeats.
Laughter, Love, Victories.
Life goes on.
First let me say - Happy Father's Day to all the guys. Even if you are not a daddy, you are a man who has an influence in someone's life. Walk wisely, someone is always watching what you do & listening to what you say.
This is Father's Day weekend, so it is natural to think about my dad … and to think about Ricky Lee, my kids' daddy. Today is also my dad's birthday, so again, the thoughts and memories.
He was a hard working man. Held down a full time job in town, never making more than $2.00 an hour. Worked 3 gardens at the house, along with all his fruit trees, to keep the family fed. Took care of the animals when Momma couldn't.
He was a human calculator in math. It didn't matter what figures you gave him, or whether to add, subtract, multiply or divide - before you finished giving him the numbers? He had the answer. He couldn't show you how he got to his answer, but he got there!
He was a genius when it came to creating new fruits by making 2 trees grow together.
He rarely complained no matter what was going on in his body, or his life.
He was a quiet man.
His parents had died when he was but a child, leading him to be raised by his older brothers - well, until he was 12 years old. At that time, he took to the rails and became a hobo, traveling cross country to find work. He never talked much about those years.
He married Momma when he was 25, never to travel again.
He raised us 5 kids, and we were never hungry or naked, never had to sleep out in the weather.
We had whatever we needed for school & book learning.
He never whipped any of us.
He seldom raised his voice at all.
He and Momma rarely argued, I can only remember a couple of "loud discussions".
He made sure that wherever Momma wanted to go, she was able to. Family. Friends. Church.
When he died, most people said, "Oh how I would love to hear him pray just one more time."
I cannot miss him.
He was a child molester and rapist. Behind closed doors, or off in the car down a back country road.
I have often wondered about those years after his parents died, before he married Momma. But no matter what he endured, that gave him no right to do to us girls what he did. Gave him no authority over our bodies to change our lives forever. Gave him no reason to steal our childhoods from us.
I cannot miss him on his birthday.
I cannot miss him on Father's Day.
I cannot miss him ever.
I have forgiven him many years ago, the anger and hatred I carried in me was like an emotional and mental cancer - eating me alive. So I made the decision to forgive him.
But that doesn't mean I have forgotten.
It doesn't mean that I no longer feel betrayed, or have no regrets of my childhood being stolen.
Yes, I endured.
Yes, I survived. It is who I am. It is what I do.
I am thankful every moment of every day, for the last 38 years that he was the father of my children.
He was more than just a father. He was a true and honest DADDY.
He loved me beyond any description that I could give. Easiest to say that I was his Beloved.
I believe that is the greatest thing a man can do for his children - LOVE THEIR MOTHER.
He insisted on respect, honor and gratitude, by our kids (and all kids in our home) to me.
He loved dad jokes. And he was excellent at telling them, or coming up with them on the fly.
He loved to play practical jokes on the kids. I think about the "Monkey Hands" in Oregon. LOL
Or when he scared the girls that were sitting in the car out in the yard late one night.
Memories abound, overflowing my thoughts this weekend.
He adored our kids - daughter and son.
He was strict, but he was fair - even when they thought he wasn't.
He would on occasion spank the kids if they deserved it, but he never abused them. Never hurt them, more than their pride.
He helped me in the house, and in the yard.
He made the kids help, too. They had chores that he expected them to do.
He was proud of them for every accomplishment - no matter how big or small.
He was not ashamed of his emotions. He loved to hug - me, the kids, the grandkids.
He was a man's man. But he was a woman's man, too.
He loved people, he listened, he shared.
He was honored. He was respected.
He spoke words of wisdom.
The song "Daddy's Hands" I believe was written about him.
He died and it was said with all truth, "Here lies an honorable man."
Ricky Lee, my husband, my children's daddy, my grandchildren's Ppaw - is missed with every heart beat that any of us have.
Missed … cried for … our minds and hearts reach for him even tho he is no longer here.
I love you Rick.
What an honor to be the mother of your children.
What an absolute joy to have had you in my life for 34 years, 7 months, 17 days, and 11 hours.
I miss you Rick.
Your Meg - always and forever.
There are those who will say I am whining ... perhaps I am.
But then, perhaps I have a right to whine ever so often.
I listen to whining every damn day. In real life ... on Facebook ... on Twitter.
Hell, turn on the news! You will hear whining, too!
There are those who will say I am being selfish ... perhaps I am.
But then, perhaps I have a right to be selfish every once in a while.
We live in a selfish-all-about-me society.
You know, where it doesn't matter what others feel, or think, or say.
All that matters is what YOU feel or think or say.
No one else can be right or even tolerated in "YOUR world, YOUR land".
(insert rolling eyes here)
There are those who will say I am only feeling sorry for myself ... perhaps I am.
But then, after all the hell I have been thru ... and the hell I live with every day, every night?
Dammit! I have a right to feel sorry for myself sometimes.
Hell, I feel sorry for others who have been thru hell ... or that are going thru hell.
So why not feel sorry for myself, too?
There are those who will say I have no right to feel the way I do ... Oh yes I do!
Yesterday was National Cancer Survivor Day.
It was on the news.
It was all over Facebook.
It was on Twitter ... Instagram ... Pinterest ...
and the list goes on.
I have survived cancer.
Not one word was said to me in celebration of surviving.
Not one recognition that I am alive - no thanks to the attack on my body and life by that monster.
I shared a moment of hurt with someone that I trust ... and all I heard?
"Oh, I didn't know that was today."
Then when I commented that because I didn't have to have treatments for the cancer, there are those who say (insist) that I did not have cancer.
(Doesn't matter what the oncologist said, doesn't matter what the path reports show.)
"Well, you certainly surround yourself with a lot of Negative Nellies, don't you?"
It has been said many times that in the darkness is where you find out who is on your side.
Guess yesterday told me what I need to know.
This meme says it all ... "YOU JUST GOT TO GIVE YOURSELF!"
Shared on my social media sites this morning:
September 28 will be 7 years as a Survivor for me. The most aggressive form of Uterine cancer. Oncologist told us that if it had not been caught that I would have had at the most 6 months & that it would have been the most excruciating death imaginable.
I was diagnosed with PTSD because of the cancer, Rick was my strength those first couple of years. Then when he died from kidney disease, survivor guilt hit me hard.
I still do not know all the reasons why I survived and he did not.
Nor do I know why I survived and so many others didn't. My heart continually breaks for the families and friends of those who have "won their final battle" with pain & cancer.
But no longer will I be ashamed that I survived. I will trust there is a reason greater than I can comprehend.
So, today, I will celebrate LIFE - - just as it is. Good, bad, and indifferent. Constantly changing. Amazing. Wonderful. Scary. Lonely. Beautiful mess.
I miss being held.
So damn much.
I would gladly pay someone to wrap their arms around me, let me lay my cheek against their chest ...
and simply HOLD me.
For maybe 20 minutes.
Just quietly being held.
Let me rest.
Let me breathe.
Just Hold Me.
I know the truth of these words.
I am reminded of them every night, usually between 3 a.m. - 5 a.m.
This morning, I actually slept until 5:22 a.m.
But these were the words that came to me when I woke up, as I stumbled thru a darkened house. As I made my way to my computer.
Breathe. I've been here before ... every morning for over 4 years ... I've been here before.
"Trust that this struggle is part of the process."
That is something no one tells you ... the healing hurts. It is scary. It is lonely. It just simply hurts like HELL.
I know there is healing within my heart, deep within my spirit. I am different today than what I was 4 years ago. Oh, the grief is still there ... but then, it always will be. Great grief is indicative of great love. And believe me, you don't get over a lifetime of being in love with someone in 4 years ... or in another lifetime.
I have always found it difficult to stand up for myself.
Mainly because I had Rick to be there for me, for 35 years, I rarely got the opportunity! :)
After all this time without someone to stand for me, defend me, protect and cover me ...
and all the hateful things that have been said to & about me ...
the physical bruises and pains ...
the emotional batterings ...
the times of being belittled ...
the shaming ...
being challenged & questioned in a way that stings and makes me draw back into myself ...
I am WAKING UP.
Being reminded of who I am, my value and my worth!
I am who I am because of the life I have lived.
Because of where I was born, and where I grew up - Texas.
Because of all the places I have seen.
Because of all the experiences I have endured & enjoyed.
Because of the people in my life - some have been blessings, some have been lessons.
Because of the one who loved me most.
Because of the ones who call me Momma, or Grannee.
I am no longer ashamed.
I am ME.
I've had enough of being disrespected. I can't make you respect me. Respect is earned, not demanded. But I have never given you a reason to disrespect me. I live my life with integrity and Southern grace. But disrespect me one more damn time and this Southern grace is going to explode all over your ass!
Enough of being stabbed by words and looks. Sticks and stones may be what breaks bones, but let me tell you - words and looks break the heart, and the spirit. But no more. I have girded my heart and my spirit with Southern dignity and grace. I have a guard about my heart that your words and looks cannot, will not penetrate! And since I am known as the "Queen of the LOOK" - look out! I will laugh at your sniveling attempt at "the LOOK".
Enough of being made to feel ashamed and sorry that I am a Texan - just because there are some assholes from Texas. Well, guess what? There are assholes in Kentucky and Idaho and Oregon and Wisconsin and New York and Alabama and ... yeah, the list goes on! There are assholes everywhere! Every community, town, city, county, state, & country. There are assholes! Just because I am from Texas doesn't mean that I am an asshole - but treat me like one ... one more damn time and see what you get!
Enough of being made to feel small because I survived Cancer and your loved one did not. I am sorry. I am truly and eternally sorry. I would gladly give my life for theirs, if I could. But I can't. No amount of compassion or being sorry, or even being ashamed that I survived, is going to give them back to you. Something I have realized in the last few days especially - - I didn't ask for Cancer. And me surviving did NOT take your loved one away from you. I DID NOT DO IT. IT'S NOT MY FAULT. So, please, stop treating me like I did something wrong by surviving. I have suffered enough with survivor guilt - I lived when Rick did not. I lived when so many others did not. I live today when others will take their last breath. I can no longer focus on "why" ... I must begin to focus on "LIFE" and living it to the fullest. If anything, I owe LIFE to my husband ... to all those who died due to Cancer ... to my children & grandchildren ... and to MYSELF. I have been thru Hell ... and I SURVIVED!
One more thing, then I need to be quiet & finish my coffee, because the day calls to get started.
I know now that I can do this life ... even alone.
Rick gave me a strong and solid foundation to build on.
I hold to his love, his faith in me.
I still cry out to be his widow, to make him say, "You done good girl!"
If you are in my life, it is because I want you there.
Don't mistake my love and desire for your presence & your friendship as a desperate cry of need.
I can do this life.
Alone if necessary.
I love you.
I want you with me.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here