Yes, I have changed the name of my blog to "Scattered Feathers".
There is an old story, perhaps you have heard it, or some version of it.
It goes like this:
A woman, who was a known gossip, went to her pastor with a broken heart. She wanted to not only stop gossiping, but she wanted to correct all the wrongs that her gossiping had done to those in her life.
The pastor listened intently, offered her a Kleenex or two, and when she had quieted, he said:
"What I want you to do is to take a feather pillow with you, and go to the top of the highest hill just outside of town. When you get to the top of the hill, break open the pillow and let the winds take the feathers where they will. Then come see me tomorrow."
The woman thought it was a very strange request, but assuming it had some message in it about forgiveness and letting go of the past, she did just as he said.
The next morning, she was at his office before he came in. She told him that she had done exactly as he had requested.
The pastor sat down. He was quiet for what seemed an extremely long time to her.
Finally he raised his head, looked her in the eyes and said:
"Now, go out there, find and gather every feather. Put them back into the pillow. Stitch it closed. Make it as good as it was before you did this."
She looked at him with shock and distress.
"I cannot do that! There is no way to know where the winds have scattered the feathers! And even if I could gather them all together, I ripped the pillow beyond repair."
He listened to her objections.
And quietly answered her: "No, you cannot do that. Neither can you return and make all right from where you have gossiped. The best you can do is to know the pain & hurt you have caused, and determine to never do that again. If perhaps the opportunity presents itself to make apologies, or in some way restitution? Then by all means, do so. But for the most part? You must let go of the guilt that plagues you, and commit to a better way of life from this heart beat forward."
A couple of mornings ago, as I sat with a cup of coffee and my journal, I realized that my life has become much like those scattered feathers. When Rick died, it was as though my pillow had been ripped open and the winds took my thoughts, my dreams, my fears & hopes, my stuff, my very life - and scattered my feathers to where I cannot find them all again. No wonder I have felt a darkness, a hopelessness that has overwhelmed me. I have spent 4 years 8 months trying to gather my feathers and put it all back together.
I'm done trying.
My heart is weary. My body is exhausted. My mind is on burn-out. My soul & spirit are dry and beyond empty.
All because I have been working so hard to pick up all my scattered feathers.
I sat still, allowing the tears to cleanse my heart, soul and mind.
I took a deep breath and accepted that I cannot gather my scattered feathers.
But I can go from this point forward.
Living. Laughing. Loving.
Doing the best I can do with this life I have been given NOW.
Treasuring the memories of the life I had - before my pillow was ripped, before my feathers were scattered.
Seeking wisdom and direction.
Guarding my heart more carefully.
In some way creating a new pillow, filled with new feathers. One that will give me strength and comfort, one that I can find rest upon.
But no more spending futile hours and energies on working to gather the scattered feathers.
I will trust those scattered feathers to God, and to Rick.
My new year began 2 mornings ago, with a cup of coffee, a light shining in the darkness, and my journal.
I've made a new resolve. I refuse to call it a resolution because those are soon laid aside. I'm putting positivity at the forefront of my life. Refusing to let people steal my joy. Retraining myself to respond differently to negativity if you will. You can too. Try it. Put the pen down. Don't give in to the urge to say it all again in a post or a blog or in conversation. It drags you right back into a dark place. Life is precious and it is short.
This was a message to me yesterday, from a trusted friend. While I can appreciate the thoughts, and even concur to some degree with what is said here, I must admit that it was the poor timing of the message that sent me spiraling on Christmas Eve into a pit of muck and mire - for the day, the evening, the night ... and has lingered still this morning.
I think one GREAT mistake that we (widows & widowers) make is to assume that because someone else is walking this same path, they really "get" where we are, and that we can lean on them in a moment of weakness & extreme loneliness. Sadly, that is not true. A lesson that I am being taught over and over and over again this past year. Hopefully, this latest lesson has made me cross that line into accepting and passing - so that I might move forward ... to another lesson.
Since returning to Texas I have been told multiple times "You just are not the same as before Rick died. It is so unfair that "she" has gone away, or basically died, so we have had to lose both you & Rick. You need to grow up, get over it all, and be that same Margaret that you were then."
Time after time I have had to sit quietly, listen to the words spoken in anger & frustration, maintain my composure, and say quietly & softly - "You are right. That me is gone. She will never return. Because the me that I was with Rick? I was that me because of Rick, with Rick, supported and loved by Rick. Rick was more than just my husband. He was a part of me. The best part of me. He's gone ... and so is that Margaret."
Then invariably I have excused myself, found a bathroom, and let the tears flow. Let the sobs wrack my body, and the migraine begin all over again. Wash my face. Dry my eyes. Take a deep breath. Re-enter and pretend that nothing has happened, no words have cut my heart asunder yet again. Waiting until I could find the time to write my thoughts out.
I made the grave mistake yesterday morning, after being told this again, of reaching out as one drowning in raging waters, to a trusted friend, one who is on this journey of grief as well.
A word of understanding and comfort with : "Chalk it up to "they know not what they say", because they don't. To which I replied, "Thank you for caring and for reminding me."
Then, I receive the above message.
Writing is therapy to me. It has been such for as long as I can remember. I wrote when I was but a child. I have thought long thru my life that writing the words was much better than saying the words, or allowing the emotions to manifest themselves in an attitude or action. Which is why the underlined parts of the above message were like daggers to the heart, the mind, the very soul, when I read them yesterday.
I have been sternly spoken to about my writings these last 3 years, by this same one, time after time. (To which I have responded by writing another blog post!)
What is so ironic to me about the words spoken by this one against my writings? Anytime, no EVERY time I write a post on social media, or share a darker meme (a life or grief meme), I get messages, texts & comments telling me how much my words, my sharing, has blessed them - even helped them to face putting their own grief and struggles into words. I have even pointed this out, only to be told - "Do whatever you want, you will anyway! But I don't like what you are writing & posting! If you insist on continuing, then I will simply unfollow you and refuse to read anything else that you write."
Why has this bothered me?
I searched my heart deep into the night, and again in the wee hours of the morning.
My answer? My heart answer?
Because I have respected this one, honored this one, trusted this one. With my heart, my very life.
And these words are slowly and surely cutting the friendship asunder.
Never once have I asked anyone to read my social media posts, and the only ones I have asked to read these blog posts are the ones who have requested that I let them know with each new blog.
However, one that professes to love me as a friend, who tells me of undying support and encouragement, who has asked me to make them my "go-to" one for the gut punch moments of grief - - If it were me making these declarations of love, devotion & friendship? I would read anything and everything written by them in the hope of understanding their own path of grief, love, loss & life.
And then it dawned on me about 1:48 a.m. on Christmas 2019 morning ... this one is not ME.
As well as, I don't need the negativity in my life. Nor do I need the strangling hold on my emotions.
Emotions come and emotions go - good, bad and indifferent.
Emotions change - - because LIFE CHANGES.
I learned a long time ago not to depend on my emotions. But to allow them for the sake of healing and learning and strength - for myself, and for lessons of life that others can learn from as well.
I spent quite some time going back thru my social media posts yesterday, wondering just what negativity and/or darkness has offended this one, or could have offended anyone?
95% or more of my posts these last few months have been the feel-good or funny or tender hearted sharings. A few news stories scattered through. Puns galore. Pretty pictures, interesting facts. And yes, a few that are the cold & hard truths of this life as a widow.
Now, to be honest? No one - NO ONE - knows all that I struggle with, that I have had laid upon my back & my heart these last 10 years. NO ONE. If you have read my postings on social media or have read my blogs - then you have an INKLING ONLY of the enormity of this grief & daily life that I have been handed.
I think that is the most frustrating part of all this, of reading the message received yesterday. Just knowing HOW MUCH I HAVE NOT SHARED. Knowing what a battle it is with every smile, every laugh, every pun, every pretty picture, every positive post - - to keep the darkness & negativity of this life out of it all. Knowing that even with those trusted few that I have shared so much, and so deeply with, that even then only the surface has been touched. The depth has not been disturbed in any way to be shared. Those burdens are still carried by me ... ALONE.
So saying all this ... to say this - -
My final resolve is:
*To continue on this quest to find and/or create Margaret. This "new" Margaret, who was Rick's wife for almost 35 years, who has now been his widow for 4 years 8 months, and who has yet to find a manual on how to do all this ... alone.
*To continue with my writings. As therapy for my own heart & life. As a way that others can relate to, or use my words to explain where they are at on their own journey.
*To no longer give time or attention to words from others about me NOT writing or NOT sharing. I struggle over every word I write, over every post I share. Nothing is done spur of the moment - not when it comes to my writings.
*To no longer share on a personal level unless specifically asked ... and I have absolute confidence and trust in that person. No longer will I blindly share - Rick warned me about "casting my pearls before the swine". So I will heed HIS words and guard my heart even closer.
*To continue to add to this Resolution List as time goes on. It's mine! As is this life.
To the naysayers in my life:
If you don't like something I write or share?
SCROLL THE HELL ON BY!
Christmas Eve's eve.
December 23, 2019
Also 4 years 8 months since I last saw Rick's eyes or heard his voice.
The emptiness today is strongly felt by my heart & thoughts.
In some ways I do not feel any better than I did 4 years ago.
4 years ago today I was here at my son's house.
Facing the first Christmas without Rick.
Today, I am here at my son's house.
Facing the 5th Christmas without Rick.
So much has changed in these 4 years.
So much remains the same.
I have lived these 4 years.
Went to Kentucky to visit a friend, to help him with his granddaughter. And stayed for 3 1/2 years. Helping him with a start up business, building 2 websites, and working as unofficial office manager.
Spent time exploring some of the historical places of Kentucky.
Watched (and got hooked on) some great TV shows.
Experimented in the kitchen - creating some recipes, tweaking others.
Met some very interesting people, some that I hope will remain friends long beyond my trip to KY.
And I have grown stronger as a widow in these 4 years.
I know more now of what I can live with, and what I don't want to live without.
I know more of what I want, and mostly what I don't want.
Much of which I have written, and will continue to write, about here in the pages of this blog & website.
I have spent money that I much regret.
Yet, as the days are gone and I cannot recall them ... so is the money.
So, since it does not good to "cry over spilled milk" (or spent money & time), I will take another deep breath and press on into this day, the rest of this month, and the coming New Year - with a renewed sense of what NOT to spend time and money on.
I have gained friends who are more like family.
I have lost family who are more like strangers now.
And I have had friends flow into my life and then flow away - like the ebb of a tide.
While I feel stronger as a widow, I also feel just as vulnerable, just as lost - as I did 4 years ago.
I still do not know where to go, or what to do.
I still have no answers for the rest of this life.
I still feel very much out of options - due to lack of money.
I know what I would love to do - but I don't know how to get there from here.
I also know that I can do this life alone, but I don't want to.
I would much prefer to have a companion, a friend, a trusted one - to share this life with, adventures, good days and bad times. Someone to hold hands with - yes, even in public. Someone who will smack my ass when I walk by, or who will wrap me in his arms kissing my forehead and making me believe yet again that life is good. Someone that I can pour out all this love that is inside of me on, who will let me spoil him like crazy. Someone who wants to sit out under the stars on a summer night and talk about life - past, present and future. Someone who will dance with me in the rain, and make me laugh when the tears are pouring down my cheeks. Someone who has ambition and desire to build a future together. Someone who isn't put off by my weirdness, but rather embraces me JUST AS I AM. Someone who respects and honors Rick, as well as the place he has in my heart & my life. Someone who will love and honor my kids - all of them - and the relationships that I have with them. Someone who will let me love their kids with all my heart.
Will that 2nd chapter happen for me?
Only heaven knows.
If it does, God will orchestrate it.
I'm too old to go "fishing".
And if it doesn't?
Then I had all of this and more, for almost 35 years with Rick. I guess that will have to be enough.
This coming year of 2020 I hope brings with it a clarity for my life.
That is the best I can do for now ... HOPE.
I don't know.
If I had a nickel for every time this question has been asked of me in the last month since leaving Kentucky, I would be having a good lunch right about now!
Sadly, the questions make me want to draw away from people ... because I don't have any answers.
I don't know.
I don't know.
I don't know.
A month ago when I had to leave Kentucky suddenly and with the stern warning of never returning, it caught me off guard ... shook me to the core ... cut my heart into a million pieces once again ... and literally took my breath & ability to think away.
In this month I have spent time with my kids and grandkids ... watched a couple of movies ... written a couple of blog posts ... talked with some friends ... discussed - or been discussed - with the authorities over all that happened in KY ... tried to sleep ... took a walk or two ... curled up for hours under a blankie ... had a couple of outings with the kids & grandkids ... drank more than a gallon of coffee ... and have spent hours upon hours thinking, wondering, trying to figure out the past - the present - and yes, the future.
And here I sit, 4 more wake ups till Christmas Day ... then another 7 wake ups before New Year's Day 2020.
Still no more answers than when I drove away from Paris KY - alternating between screaming how unfair it all was, and crying till Captain Jack shuddered.
I know that money is not the answer to all problems, but I will say this - if I had the money I would have a better answer of what to do.
But when the money isn't there ... well, it becomes more of a challenge to figure things out.
Receiving the widow benefits puts me in a difficult situation, even while providing for a few personal needs.
Not enough each month to live alone, but too much to qualify for any financial aid or help.
Also limits what I can make by working. Yet, I have too much life left in me to just sit and do nothing.
I do not want to be a burden to my children & grandchildren. Nor do I want to be in the way, or interrupt & invade their lives. I know they love me, and I know they are willing for me to stay with them until I can figure it all out. But I feel an urgency to do just that, to come up with answers.
I know more of what I don't want ...
And even more of what I do want.
But how do I get from where I am right now to even being on the road to there?
I am going to take the rest of this year, 11 more days, to enjoy my kids & grandkids, to work on my websites, to read a book, to sleep, to savor my coffee, even try not to think too much.
January 2020 will come and bring with it changes to my life yet again.
For now? I simply need to REST.
Most of these last 5 years I have spent my life trying to shrink myself.
Trying to become smaller. Not only in physical size, but in my very presence.
Quieter. So that I don't talk too loud, or too much. So that I don't laugh too long, or cry too often.
Less sensitive. Which is hard when I am an empathetic.
Less opinionated. So that no one is offended by my convictions.
Less needy. So no one needs to feel obligated to be with me, to put their life on hold for me.
Because I didn't want to be a burden to anyone, at any time.
I didn't want to be too much to handle. Yet, hearing the whole "I can't deal with you when you are like this" comment more than once.
I have only wanted to be loved, cared for, and valued.
I have sacrificed myself all this time for the sake of making others comfortable & happy.
I realize now I should not change who I am in order to make someone else feel better about themselves, about their life, about their choices.
It's not my job to change me to become someone else's idea of a woman, a friend, a potential girlfriend, a worthwhile human being.
I am worthy.
Worthy to be loved.
Worthy to be valued.
Worthy to be cared for.
Not because anyone else thinks I am.
But because I live and breathe and have existence in this life.
My thoughts matter.
My ideas & hopes matter.
My fears & worries matter.
My voice matters.
With or without anyone's approval or permission!
I will be who I am.
I will speak my truth.
Even if it makes someone angry.
Even if it makes someone uncomfortable.
Or if they choose to leave.
I refuse to shrink ME any longer.
No longer will I allow others to make me feel guilty for not being stronger with the pain & grief that I carry daily. Our pain & grief is as individual as our life & love was before death changed it all.
This is my battle, my heart, my journey.
I choose to move at my own pace, whether anyone agrees or approves - or not!
I choose to take up space - in a worthy manner, full of grace & dignity.
I choose to honor my feelings & my thoughts.
I choose to give myself permission to have my needs met, and a few of my wants granted.
I choose to make ME a priority.
I simply choose ME.
There will be times I will choose silence. Because I am tired of fighting, tired of defending.
I am tired of explaining my feelings, only to have them stomped on time after time.
I am adapting to the changes in my life, and I don't want to complain - but it isn't an easy life, some days it takes all my energies just to breathe and survive.
I am on a healing journey. Trying to move forward with all the grace & dignity that I can.
Just a minute. Think I need another cup of coffee for this blog ...
Ok. Oh, coffee is so good this morning! Well, it's always good - but when the weather is cold or rainy? Gooder. When the heart and mind are weary? Gooder. When coming out of a long battle? Gooder.
And when all of the above hit? GOODER & GOODER! (Which just for the record is today!)
I have spent the last few days arguing with my heart & mind especially over the events of the last 3 months. Realizing in the wee hours of this morning that no matter how much I love someone, or enjoy what I am doing, nothing & no one is worth this much pain & heart ache! It would be completely different if the love was returned & shared, or if I was working to build a future for myself as well. But, that not being the situation? It's time (past time to hear others say) to let it go. To accept it was a time to learn some lessons and gain some memories ... and that it is time to walk on forward.
As for the being removed (or banned) from Kentucky? I don't believe for a moment that the Sheriff's deputy has the authority to do that, but rather I do believe it was a violation of my civil rights. I was not charged with any crime, nor was I a threat to anyone. This was a personal vendetta from a jealous woman against me. I further believe it was a scare tactic he was using, perhaps even at the insistence of someone else. I was leaving KY anyway - coming back to TX to visit my kids and grandkids thru the holidays - so there was no just cause in being treated as such. Will I ever go back to KY? Not expecting to, thinking that chapter of my life has closed ... and it is time to leave it closed.
I know now that I will never have closure ... nor an apology. Nor will I have that answer to "why". But I can accept that now. Besides, why would I want to go where I am not wanted? To go where I was treated rudely and hatefully by others there? Just let them live their own pitiful lives, and allow Karma to do her work!
It's time for ME.
2020 is going to be a year for ME.
Selfish it may sound to some. This will be my only explanation.
I have spent a lifetime of giving care. First to my dad & mom - I became more their caregiver than they mine, when I was 7 years old. Then to Rick & the kids - through being wife and momma. On to Rick when his body began to break down. Even to a friend's granddaughter. Seems that for all my life as soon as one caregiving situation ended, there was another to step into, and because that is who I am & what I do ... I took those steps without ever thinking about not doing it.
I'm tired. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. In my heart & in my body. My mind is worn out.
I need to give care to ME.
I'm already beginning that process.
A hair cut with a new style ... trip to the nail salon.
Which just for the record? I will be having my hair done every 3-6 months from now on ... and will be having my nails done at least once a month.
Hopefully will pick up my new eyeglasses this week. Will be a new look!
Working on rehabilitating my knee from the torn ACL & MCL. Using the Gazelle every 3rd day right now, working my way up to every day. Then I will increase the time I spend on it. Also looking for a treadmill.
I have a stack of books now to read. I used to read a lot. But in the last few years, I haven't been reading. It's time!
Working more faithfully on this website ... will be adding more to it in the weeks to come.
Delving into genealogy with more and more passion.
Planning some adventures - looking forward to those.
Even working on some new friendships.
Life goes on ... and it is my decision to go on with it!
I know without question or doubt that I have Rick's approval. That's all I need.
I am hopeful that this new year will bring a sense of direction as well as a blanket of peace to my heart, mind & life. But I do not want to wait until January 1, 2020, to begin the journey! Today is a new day. This heart beat is one that I have never lived before. Even the Bible says, "Today is the day of salvation!"
Since it is only 12 days till Christmas, I suppose this should be an upbeat, happy, filled-with-joy, counting my blessings post.
Instead, I sit here alone at 2:55 p.m. on Friday, December 13, 2019 ... looking out the window while typing this. Struggling with whether to be brutally honest, or write so that whoever might read this (now or ever) will have some warm fuzzies to take away. Sigh.
It's not that I care what others think or say about what I write ...
But words haunt me. For good. Or for ill.
And having been told many times in the last 6 months that I "cry too much", that I am "too honest", "too real", "never seem to have a good day", that I am "too negative", never share anything worthwhile - even to the point of having dear friends threaten to unfollow me on Facebook, that I "focus on the bad stuff of being a widow" ... well, these words haunt my heart and mind. Make me overthink and second guess every word I write now. UGH.
Should I apologize to Rick for allowing the haunting to take place? Yet he knew me best, and he knew how the words of others affected my heart & mind. He knew that I am an empathetic, that I have "the gift" (as Louis L'Amour called it) - not that I care what others think or say ... just that it affects my heart.
It's complicated to explain, and almost impossible to understand, unless you too are an empathetic.
That's something else I have heard a LOT these 4 1/2 years - - "Stop caring what others say or think! Live your life! Love yourself!"
No matter how insistent I am to explain, to defend, to try and reach that point of understanding with others - - no one seems to GET IT.
I truly do NOT care what others think or say. BUT - - it affects my heart, my mind, my energy, my strength. I did not ask to be an empathetic.
I did not ask to have "THE GIFT" of being able to see, to hear, and to feel, so intensely what others see, hear & feel - even without them telling me, or showing me ... I simply KNOW.
The first time I can remember experiencing this "Gift" was when I was about 8 years old ... 50 long years ago. It was with my momma, who was going thru a very difficult time of her life. I touched her, to give her a hug, and I drew back sharply - because I had seen a darkness in her mind, I had felt a heaviness that took my breath away. I remember she looked at me, and said, "Child, you have it. You have the gift. Tell me what you have seen just now. Tell me what you felt." I did, and as I told her, I watched the tears roll down her cheeks. Then I saw her turn her head away and her body shake with sobs. I was afraid to touch her again. So I simply stood there. 8 years old. Scared. Worried. Not knowing what was wrong with me, struggling with my own thoughts & emotions, and feeling my momma's.
It is literally exhausting ... especially lately.
All of this is like a wicked merry-go-round and I feel as though I am about to be thrown wildly off!
The holidays are the worst.
Not only as a widow - dealing with all the memories, the emotions of my heart, the emptiness of my life - but also as an empathetic.
I feel the stress & frustrations of those around me.
Have you seen the movie, "What Women Want" with Mel Gibson? It is one of my favorite movies! It makes me laugh, but the other night when I watched it again (for the thousandth time :) ) - I realized something.
That is me. It's not so much that I hear what others (men & women) are thinking, I really don't. But I feel what they are feeling. And if anyone touches me, you know - like to hug me, or lay a hand on my shoulder, or shake my hand (which this is the "greatest" time of the year for all of those) - I can more often than not, "see" things about their past, their present, their future ... usually the regrets, the sorrows, the pains of their heart.
Rick knew that I had "the gift", even if he didn't totally get it - he got ME. He knew when I was overwhelmed by it all, and he had a way of taking me in his arms, holding me close against his chest, soothing me with sweet whispers & forehead kisses. He also knew when I had had ENOUGH! He would take me for a cheeseburger & a cherry Dr Pepper with a long ride down back country roads. Or he would rent a movie that would make me laugh. Or he would suggest a long nap - one where he held me, touching my hair lightly, and singing to me, until I fell asleep.
In all the years of our marriage, he never shamed me for having "the gift". He never said he wished I didn't have it. In fact, he came to rely on it. He encouraged me to use it for good, as a tool to minister to others, a way to understand them on a deeper level - make it easier for them to share their struggles.
Oh how I miss him ... especially right now.
And then others wonder "what's wrong" with me?
"Why so down and discouraged?"
"Why must you be so negative?"
"You shouldn't share your bad days & nights for all the world to see."
No one thinks that perhaps I share the bad, as well as the good, in hopes that perhaps there is ONE person out there who GETS IT, too? Maybe that ONE needs to know they are not alone ... I know that's exactly what I need to know!
I've been trying to think my way thru a fog of emotions to make this post.
Been trying for about a week now.
Being forced to leave Kentucky with no chance of returning shook me to the core.
Yes, I was planning a trip back to Texas to see my kids and grandkids thru the holidays, and to take care of some business. But ... I was also thinking that I would return to Kentucky and continue helping out at Hub Cap Annie / Hilltop Hot Rod Shop.
Sadly, that is not to be what happens.
Not by my choice.
I was told by a deputy not to return. Being accused of doing something against myself, as well as against others. Not being believed when I answered his questions.
The choices given me were to (1.) Leave Kentucky and never return, or (2.) Face prosecution and jail time - yes, for something not done, but rather accused of.
Having lived a life of honesty & integrity for 58 years, then to be accused & not believed?
Well, yes. I was shaken to the core.
I found myself not knowing what to do, where to turn, or even who to trust.
I fought a major battle for 2 days as I drove away from Paris KY and to Texas.
Trying to figure out what had just happened. Was it jealousy? Or was it someone simply tired of me being around?
I've been treated hatefully at different times thru my life. I've been told I wasn't worth having around. There has been a lot that I have heard and seen in these years of my life.
But never have I been treated so rudely, disrespectfully, and told to leave ... like I was in Kentucky.
Part of me wanted to turn around and stand my ground & prove my word.
Part of me wanted to keep driving until the truck was worn out & money was gone.
And sadly, there was a part of me that was so dreadfully lonely and alone that I fully realized how someone can get to that point of not going on, that point of no return, that final straw of no hope for the future to where they take their own life.
Crossing the state line from Arkansas into Texas I was listening to my music, and the song that came on was "Gone to Texas" by The Calamity Janes.
"You may all go to hell, I'll go to Texas. You may all go to hell, I'll go home."
I smiled a little smile.
And I drove on.
Am I home? No.
I am visiting my kids and grandkids thru the holidays.
Will I remain here? Only heaven knows.
I have told my kids and grandkids that my crystal ball got busted into a million pieces when their daddy/p-paw died 4 1/2 years ago.
Home is not a place. It's not a house.
Home is love. Being loved. Loving someone else.
Home is being believed and trusted.
Home is knowing that someone has your back no matter what. No matter against who.
Home is arms to hold you when you have had a bad dream.
Home is listening ears to hear you without judgment or condemnation.
Home is quiet conversation over a cup of coffee.
Home is dreams, hopes, ideas for the future.
Home is working together, playing together.
Home is Hope.
Home ... No, I am not home.
Will I ever be home again?
Again, only heaven knows.
But for now, perhaps for now on, I am here ... waiting, wondering, and working on ME.
Realizing and accepting what was with Rick, what has been since he's been gone, and coming to terms with all of that - what it means to my heart, and to my future now.
I know more of what I do, and what I don't want ... I know better what I will, and what I won't, put up with.
I also am learning the hard, heart-breaking, lesson of who to trust ... and who not to trust.
As well as the most difficult lesson of who to vent to ... because most don't care enough to listen.
And those that do listen? Well, must be on guard there, too. Simply put? There are those who listen for one reason - so they can take your own words and twist them, using them against you, to either spear you to the wall, or stab you in the back.
I'm using this time to work on my body, too. New hair style. New glasses. Dental work. Back to walking & exercising. Losing the rest of the weight & doing my best to get in better shape. Time to find a doctor and have some tests run.
This is ME, my body, my life.
Past time to take care of ME.
I've spent a lifetime caring for others ... now ME-time.
I have promised Rick, my kids and grandkids, that I would not grieve myself to an early grave.
Nor would I ever just give up.
But rather I would press on into this life, living the best way I could.
Still wanting to hear Rick say, "You done good, girl! I am so proud of you!"
Now, I have promised myself to be more careful where, and to whom, I give my heart.
I will from this point forward be doubly on guard with my heart, my thoughts, my feelings, my hopes & dreams, my fears & worries.
I also promised myself to carefully choose my words, as well as all that I share on social media.
If I share it, you may know that I have thought about it, wrestled with it, worried over it like a dog with a bone, and finally made the post ...
then often times, deleting it before anyone can see it yet.
And all the while doing so with the thoughts and feelings that I am going directly against what Rick had asked me to do - - be bluntly honest, bravely blatant ... in the hopes that "just one person would be helped or encouraged, and all that I have suffered, all that you will suffer without me, will not have been in vain." Sigh.
However, this is MY website. Bought and paid for by Ricky Lee.
So, here I will share as he asked me to do.
Yet, I still struggled with this post for a week!
A hard lesson was learned this week. Words from one close to my heart made me feel very damaged. As in unworthy to ever be loved, or even liked. As in not deserving to be followed on social media. As in not even qualified to be his friend. All because I am too honest, too blunt, about all that I have and am going thru.
For a few hours my heart was breaking. My spirit screamed "It's not fair!"
In the end, I have decided that MY social media is just that - MINE. If someone doesn't like what I post, then unfollow me - unfriend me ... or maybe, just maybe - - SCROLL ON BY! No one is required to read everything I post, nor to comment on it, and certainly not to message me a tirade about what they don't like about it all.
What I share on social media, as well as on this - MY website (where NO ONE, but NO ONE, can tell me what I can or can't share, by the way) - - is done with the hope that just one person will be encouraged to know that they are not alone ... be it a good day or a bad night. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Rick's very last request of me was that I continue being brutally honest - on all of social media, in this website. His words: "Honey, if just one person is helped, encouraged, enlightened - then all that we have been thru, and all that you will endure without me, will not be in vain. Stay strong and be brave!"
How can I do less?
It has never been the intent of my heart to piss someone off, nor to make them angry, certainly not to offend in any way - - not by what I live, nor by what I say, certainly not by what I post. But it happens. Maybe the words are hitting a little too close to home? Momma used to say, "The guilty dog always barks first" ? ? ?
I don't want to lose friends because of what I post ... but after many hours with this battle going on in my heart and mind, I have come to realize that a true friend will NEVER be lost. A true friend will stand by no matter what! So, if I lose a "friend"? Perhaps that is simply making room for a true friend to step closer to my heart and deeper into my life.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here