Love and SoCS are in Da Blog – An Old Friend

During football season last year, one of my son’s games was in Bountiful, which is about thirty minutes away from where I live. It’s not somewhere I go very often and usually I’m passing it by to head on to my sister’s house. It was on a weekend when I didn’t have my kids, so after the game, I found myself alone in Bountiful, not ready to go home because the boyfriend was busy getting the carpets cleaned or something.

It was at that point I remembered an old friend. It was a friend I had found about ten years ago but I hadn’t been for years, so I decided to drop in and see what was shaking.

Driving on main street reminds me of driving in a small town; it’s quaint, with shops on each side and a tiny little park. My friend is a tiny building on the corner with hand written signs and the contents spilling out onto the sidewalks on nice, sunny days. It’s called The Book Garden, a second hand book store. Walking into it is even better than walking into a library; it’s hallways are spilling with books in boxes and the shelves are stacked to the ceiling. There’s a basement that has even more books in the same sort of organized disarray and it smells of old, dusty books.

I love that place!

I finished another book last night and realized that they didn’t have one of the books in the series when I was there last, so I convinced my boyfriend to go with me today so I could look for it. It’s a slightly different experience when someone is with you, but no less enchanting for having company. I loved that I was able to walk around and look for what I wanted. Even if I didn’t find the exact book I was looking for, I still managed to leave with about ten books; and my boyfriend was a true gem, kept telling me I could have all the time I wanted and anything that would put a smile on my face and make me this happy was something we could always do more.

The lovely thing about this old friend of mine is how little it has changed in the last ten years. They’ve rearranged some of the shelves so the sci-fi section is in a different place than it used to be and there are more people at the counter because it is a whole lot more busy than it used to be; but one of the women at the counter has been there all these years and still has as much if not more knowledge about books than she did when I was there last. It still has the same feeling of peace and tranquility I’ve always felt walking into it.

I don’t think I could think of a better day than to spend it with someone I love in a place I love finding books, another thing I love and adore.

This is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill and Love Is In Da Blog hosted by Just Fooling Around With Bee. Feel free to click on the links and join in the friendship and love. Today’s prompt was friend/acquaint.

Love Is In Da Blogsocs-badge


Love Is In Da Blog – Friends Along the Way

What is it that makes friendships last?

I’ve asked myself this question so many times in my life because I seem to have a hard time keeping female friends. I have and will always have my sister. She’s my best friend and confidante and I don’t honestly know where I’d be right now if it wasn’t for her presence in my life. She is always there and we truly have a special relationship, in my opinion; but I think I’ve always chalked it up to our being sisters for some reason, even though I know that not many people can say one of their siblings is their best friend. But maybe I’m wrong; maybe we’re just friends and we would be with or without the blood relation. And that’s just fine with me because my sister, my friend is an amazing woman and I’m lucky to have her in my life.

I’ve had many female friends along the way, but they never seem to last. My childhood friends sort of faded away during junior high and high school. I don’t blame them really. That was a dark time for me and my family, or at least I see it that way now, and I started shutting people out; people who maybe could have been a part of my life long term. But as it happened, by the time I graduated, I was caught up in a relationship and family struggles and didn’t have much left for friendships and they ended up floating away.

I started making friends at work, which I think might have worked, but one of the first girl friends I had that I worked with turned out to be not the best type of friend. The only really positive thing I can say about her is that she introduced me to my x-husband who is the father of my children. It was hard to trust as completely after that, but I did end up getting close to another woman we worked with after the first “friend” quit.

We had a lot in common and I even did things with her and her family outside of work but about a year later, she ended up getting really sick. I visited her in the hospital and tried to stay in touch, but she basically shut me out of her life. I don’t blame her. She went through some really terrible medical struggles and I’m sure just being a mother and wife was about all she could handle, if even that.

The hard part about making friends with people you work with is that jobs aren’t always long-term and it seems like every time I made a friend at work, they eventually faded away after one or both of us left the job.

Needless to say, I don’t have many girlfriends, but I’m happy for those I’ve known along the way because they’ve come into my life at the times I needed them;  they’ve taught me things and made me laugh; they’ve shared with me and given me love and I, in turn, was given opportunities to care for them and love them. Friends are pretty amazing and it’s hard to see them go; but I do believe that people float in and out of our lives based on our own internal process.

So, for everyone who has come into my life for a few short years, thank you. You will always have a special place in my heart for what you gave me when you were a part of my life.

That’s not to say I wouldn’t welcome you back; well, most of you anyway. There’s always room for friends.

This post is part of Love Is In Da Blog hosted by Just Fooling Around With Bee where today we were prompted with lost friends. Feel free to click the links and join the love.

Love Is In Da Blog

One-Liner Wednesday Triple – Friends to the End

“”Well, you have now, Sam, dear Sam,’ said Frodo, and he lay back in Sam’s gentle arms, closing his eyes, like a child at rest when night-fears are driven away by some loved voice or hand.”

“I made a promise, Mr. Frodo, a promise. Don’t you leave him Samwise Gamgee, and I don’t mean to.”

“Come, Mr. Frodo!” he cried. “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well.”

-J.R.R. Tolkien

Because when I think of friends in literature or cinema, the first person that came to mind was Samwise Gamgee from the Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkein. Because I couldn’t pick just one quote that could fully encompass what a loving friend he truly was (not that three is any better). Because I know Linda will forgive me for breaking her rules. 🙂

This post is part of One-Liner Wednesday hosted by Linda G Hill and Love Is In Da Blog hosted by Bee. Click the links and join in the love and friendship!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Love and Teaser Tuesdays Are In Da Blog – Books Make Great Friends

I took Andru to his parent teacher conference last week and afterwards, as is normally the case, we stopped off at the book fair to check out some books. Andru is very into video games and the only book he wanted was a how-to on setting up Minecraft worlds. I would have just bought that for him and walked away, but they were having a buy-one-get one sale, so we kept looking for something else. I told him I really wanted him to get something that was an actual chapter book, which I don’t think he was very happy about because it then turned into a half hour of looking at the same things over and over again.

In order to help out, I decided to try and find him some choices so I checked out the box that had his teacher’s wish-list books in it. Turns out, he wasn’t interested in any of those, but I was. I ended up buying one of the books for the teacher and one for myself. Andru ended up with something else that wasn’t a chapter book, but hey; at least he’s reading. And we bought four books instead of two, or one or none! Yay books! 🙂

I’m always behind the times a bit when it comes to reading. I’m always reading things that were in five years ago. The book I ended up buying for myself was Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt and I finished reading it today (it’s only 140 pages, so it didn’t take very long for me to read it once I started).

Tuck Everlasting

I’m going to basically turn this into a Teaser Tuesday post as well as an I love books and they are some of my best friends on my worst days kind of post.

I’m also going to tell you that this book was a breath of fresh air in my life right now and I enjoyed every moment it took me to read it. I loved the language of it; how Babbitt described the heat of August and the toad in the grass. I loved how she presented the Tuck family and their interactions with Winnie Foster, the main character. I even loved the ending (I happened to glimpse a short review that said they didn’t like how it ended). So, there you have it. My small review of a friend that was with me for a few short hours and delighted me more than I can say. I hope you will pick it up if you haven’t already because I think it’s worth it.

Isn’t there a movie? I think they made a movie…

I opened the book to page 44 and here’s the snippet I chose for you:

“So, the sun riding high now in the sky, they started off again, noisy in the August stillness, eating bread and cheese. Jesse sang funny old songs in a loud voice and swung like a monkey from the branches of tress, showing off shamelessly for Winnie, calling to her, “Hey, Winnie Foster, watch me!” and “Look what I can do!”

This post is part of Love Is In Da Blog hosted by Bee where our prompt this week is all about friends. It is also part of Teaser Tuesdays of Should be Reading hosted by Miz B. Feel free to click the links and join in the reading love!

Beauty of a Woman BlogFest IV – Finding Beauty Within

Renee Jacobson art

Like many women, I’ve always struggled with self-worth and seeing myself as beautiful. Growing up with red hair wasn’t fun and didn’t help. Two of my very best friends were both blond and they were tiny. For whatever reason, I had a growth spurt sooner than most kids my age and I ended up taller than everyone in kindergarten, so not only was I teased for the color of my hair, I was teased for how “big” I was. The fact that those two girls were my best friends didn’t stop them from joining in the nastiness. I remember we were going to play some imaginary game and I wanted to play a specific character, but they wouldn’t let me because I was too big and my hair wasn’t the right color. I also remember them telling me I just didn’t fit in with them.

(I don’t think those two girls were mean at their core; most of it came from that horrible dynamic that happens when you bring three girls together. I saw the same thing happen with my own daughter and two of her girlfriends. There’s just something about the number three and girls that doesn’t work somehow.)

Those words and images never really went away and for the longest time the term “big and ugly” was always stuck in my head whenever I thought of myself and especially when someone called me beautiful. This negative self image carried into high school and beyond.

A few years after I graduated, I was going through some pictures from high school and found one of a performance with a singing group I was in. The picture included me and about five girls on a stage in various poses of singing and dancing. I was astounded that I was shorter than every other girl on that stage and I was also the smallest. How is it that the views we hold onto, the way we see ourselves, can be so far from reality?

I’m sad that the picture didn’t help change my self image at the time, but it didn’t. I still managed to hold onto the negative thoughts and feelings that had battered me all my life. Some of that had to do with the depression I’ve dealt with since a young age; some of it had to do with abusive relationships. I built a wall around myself and not only did I not see myself as beautiful, I didn’t think I was lovable.

I wrote a poem somewhere in the darkest part of this time in my life. I wasn’t writing at the time; I wasn’t doing much of anything at the time besides trying to survive, but I found a box of magnetic words that was given to my daughter as a gift. The fun thing about these words is that you have to use what is provided, so if I wanted a specific word, I usually couldn’t find it. I spent a few hours playing with those words and moving them around until I came up with this:

strange beautiful woman
alive between sad desire and whispering fear
wanders through haunted dreams
searching against time for happy escape
almost marked by love
in vivid mystery

I was seeing a therapist at the time and I read it to her in one of our sessions. She said it sounded so sad and that maybe I could write a second part to it and find some peace and happiness for the woman, i.e. me. The second one was harder because I had a specific direction I needed to go in, but after working through it I wrote the response or answer to the poem I had written.

beautiful vivid spirit
finding evil in torrid dreams
fights an ancient truth with inspired love
closing the door to fear
discovering a magical old soul in happy imaginings
new life fills a growing heart

I believe this was the beginning to the change that happened in my life and today, I am happier in my own skin, more loving to myself in my own head than I ever have been in my life. Most of the change was internal but once that change started, the things on the outside started to change to fit what I had changed internally.

Now I can look at myself in the mirror and say, “Wow, I’m beautiful” rather than “I’m just big and ugly,” and I can honestly say it has nothing to do with how I actually look. We are all beautiful creatures in a beautiful world. It doesn’t matter what color your hair is, how big your body is or what kind of clothes you wear. I believe beauty comes from within and the more we find the beauty within ourselves and can see ourselves in a loving and kind way, the more we can spread that love to others.

This is my first time taking part in the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest hosted by August Mclaughlin. I invite you to click the links and join in as we celebrate a woman’s beauty.

Flash Fiction – Cold Blood (Part 3 of 4)

Chuck’s challenge this week was to take the second part of someone’s story and write the third part. I read the first part of this story and almost wrote the second part to it but found something else I was more inspired to write. When I read the second part, my first thought was there is nowhere to take this. But I couldn’t get it out of my head and it didn’t take long before I had the third part pretty much nailed down. I’m really hoping someone finishes it. I think I left it open enough for a few different directions.

I have all three parts here for ease of reading and for those of you who haven’t read the first two parts. I suggest you check both blogs out, though. They are both fantastic! Pavowski’s part is in blue, Lauren’s is in red and mine is last in black. My part came in just under 900 words. I hope you enjoy our collaboration so far. I’ll make sure to post the last part if someone else picks it up.

Cold Blood


The weather reports had called for cold, but that was the first thing Lem could process, and the only thing, for that matter. Despite the sleeping bag her legs were snarled in, the stocking cap smushing down her short hair, and the two hoodies she had layered up the night before, the cold had seeped into her toes and her fingers in the night, and she could barely feel them.

She sat up, and a crack of thunder sounded in her skull. Too much whiskey the night before; yes, that had been a mistake. And not a drop of water around before bed, either. All the water in their flasks had frozen. Was still frozen, she discovered, turning a heavy flask over. It would have been funny, if her head hadn’t felt like it was tearing into two halves down the middle. She poked Mark to wake him up.

But Mark wasn’t there.

His sleeping bag had been right next to hers when she passed out, but now it was rolled up and neatly secured with paracord in the corner of the tent. Next to it sat Mark’s pack, which was also arranged and collected and ready to depart. But no Mark.

She peeked her head out of the tent — sucking in a sharp icy breath, because god help her, it was even colder outside — and looked around. There, the ring of stones around the pile of ash from last night’s fire. There, the funny little outcropping of trees that Mark had said looked like a bunch of aliens dancing around a maypole. There, the dusty trail leading off into the woods. In the distance, the burbling sounds of the river. But no Mark.

Lem cleared her throat, sending another shockwave through her pounding head, and stumbled out into the grey morning. She tried to call for Mark, but her voice was hoarse and tiny in the predawn mist. It wasn’t unlike him to go for a little explore before she was awake, but something felt off. The sleeping bag, his pack. He hadn’t lit a fire. And he’d had as much to drink as she had, if not more. By rights, he should be the one sprawling on the ground in the tent, unable to shake the fog out of his head. She called out once more, Mark’s name issuing out in a great cloud of vapor. Three crows exploded out of a nearby bush and went flapping off into the sky, cawing at one another and at her pitilessly as the grey swallowed them up.

An hour later, Lem had built a fire and thrown a few sausages in the pan, figuring that when Mark returned she could have a bit of breakfast ready. She’d thawed out a canteen and chugged a good quart of water, and that had helped, too. But the hour had come and gone: she had gathered kindling, listened to the thick sizzle of the gristly meat, and then devoured them herself, all without seeing or hearing any sign of Mark. It was only when she was cleaning up from the meager meal that she started to get uneasy.

Not at the thought of being alone in the wild; she carried a gun and was well-trained in its use. That had been her father’s insistence when she took up hiking, and she dutifully loaded it before every expedition, even though she had never had cause to use it. Nor was she uneasy at Mark’s absence; he liked the solitude of the woods even more than she did, and he would be back soon enough with some clumsy excuse about forgetting to leave a note, and they’d kiss and laugh over it and that would be the end. It was the cold, she realized. The sun was up now, casting long, skeletal shadows through the trees, but it was getting colder. Unseasonable was not the word. The chill was unnatural.

She chuckled at herself as she thought it, and went to pack away her mess kit back in her pack, and that was when she spotted it. It was frozen solid but unmistakable, dark crimson in the dust, glittering with the scattered sunshine; A tiny disk of blood that looked like it might have frozen before it hit the ground.

She bent to examine it, the vapor of her breath seeming to melt its surface just a little, tiny droplets condensing on the angry red ice. Now that she’d spotted this tiny pool, the next one seemed to catch light at the edge of her vision. She rose and walked toward the new spot, and then she saw the next patch of ice… and the next, leading toward that strange snarled copse of trees.

For a fleeting moment, she thought of her gun. Her tent was only thirty feet away, just as far from her now as the weird interwoven trees that had caught Mark’s fancy the night before. It would take only a moment to retrieve it. Then came a sound that made ice of the blood suddenly surging through her veins. The cracking of a twig underfoot, but not under her foot. Under another foot entirely, just beyond the edge of the trees encircling the clearing.

She shivered, frozen to the spot, and looked around at the stand of trees surrounding the camping site. She couldn’t see who it was, and she thought they must be hiding out there. Lem tiptoed back over to the fire and sat down on the rock, as the figure came out of the woods. Her heart pounded against her ribcage, trying to break free of its confines. She could see the outline of the backpack, and a wave of relief washed over her when she saw the dreads on his head—just a backpacker.

“You scared me,” she said.

“I was separated from my group about an hour ago.”

Lem looked up to the sky and realized the sun hadn’t even been up for an hour. Unease crept into her, but she plastered a smile on her face as she looked at him.

“Did you see a man on the trail? About six feet? Beard, probably unkempt hair?”

The backpacker shook his head. She sat on the rock warming her hands by the fire, and she motioned for him to take a seat.

“I’m Ian,” he said.

She grasped his hand, noticing his knuckles were split around the edges, like he’d been hitting something. He followed her eyes, and she stared up at him, darkness staring back at her. She shuddered and pulled her hand back too abruptly.

“I practice taekwondo. Split my knuckles on the punching bag. Your name?”

She nodded, but she didn’t believe him—the same feeling of unease from this morning creeping back to her as she wondered where Mark could be and whether the blood on the rock was his.



“Belonging to God.”


“It’s what the name means. It was my mother’s maiden name and was stuck onto me like a fungus. Imagine being a girl and growing up with a name like Lem.”

She didn’t know why she was telling him this, nervous talk, because when she looked at him the feeling of dread seeped under her skin. She wished Mark was here, or that she even knew where Mark was, but more than that she wished the gun in the tent was in her hands. She thought about breaking away from the campfire, going into the tent and pushing it into the space between the elasticity of her pants and her skin.  But, she thought, if Ian was dangerous then she would be trapped. Coming out of the tent, he could easily accost her and she didn’t want that. She thought about the split skin on his hands, the blood seemed newly dried and this thought turned her stomach as she thought about the little pool of blood on the ice. It could only be Mark’s.

“Would you like some bacon?” she asked, pointing towards the pan she had left cooling by the fire.

Her breath was still coming out in vapor, but the world seemed to be warming up now that the sun was peeking up from behind the trees. 

“Yeah, that’d be fucking great,” Ian said, and he leaned forward to help himself to two pieces.

“So how does one get lost from their group so early in the morning?”

He glared at her, and she felt an icy prickle, like a hand, trail through her body alerting her to the danger this man seemed to possess. 

“Maybe you should be asking yourself that about—what’s his name?”

“Mark.” When the name came from her lips, she knew Mark was past tense. She wanted to crawl out into the woods and look for his body, but right now she had to protect herself from the monster sitting right next to her. 

“This bacon’s great.” The words from his mouth dripped like acid, despite the benign nature of them.

She nodded, pulling her knees to her chest and rocking back and forth, trying to warm herself up in a childlike pose meant to protect her from things unknown.

“I think I’m just going to go to the tent, put another layer on. You’re welcome to another piece of bacon.”

She set her feet into the dirt, and as she started to push herself up from the rock his hand clamped on her wrist, a pair of handcuffs meaning to trap her to this place. His fingernails dug into her skin, a grip so tight she knew there was no escaping.

“I think you should stay here,” he said through clenched teeth.

Her heart was beating so fast, a thousand tons sitting on her chest, as the reality of the situation started sinking in. Sweat broke out on her forehead, despite the coldness that seemed to drag itself into every pore of her body.  She wanted it to be a nightmare. She wanted to wake up and roll over, feel Mark’s warm skin next to hers and warm herself up with a morning coital.

The daydream faded as she realized Ian wasn’t going to let go. Her eyes moved from his hands, split knuckles, dirt under the fingernails, to his chest.  When she saw it, she gasped.

He had the necklace hanging around his neck—a token from a kill? The Joshua Tree imprinted on the metal, the frayed edges of the shoelace material laying along Ian’s neck, instead of Mark’s where it belonged. She had bought it for Mark at Joshua Tree National Park about a month after they started dating. He hadn’t taken it off since.

And she knew what this man was here to do.

He maintained his grasp on her wrist. With his other hand he trailed his fingers against the exposed skin on her neck. She started screaming, and as expected he clamped his hand over her mouth, the smell of dirt and moisture filling her nostrils.

Lem tried to break away from his grasp, and was surprised when the searing pain clouded her field of vision, and suddenly her world went completely black. This is it for me, she thought. 

How far do you suppose we walked today?” Mark was buried in his sleeping bag, his muffled question barely reaching her own sleeping bag cocoon.

Not as far as you’d like, but that wasn’t my fault.” She was smiling as she remembered walking off the trail in order to pee and getting shit from him.

You only stopped to pee like what? Ten times?”

Oh, come off it! I didn’t pee any more than you did.”

If she could have seen his face, she would have seen his raised eyebrow, his lips quirked in a sarcastic, I-can’t-believe-you-believe-your-own-shit smile.

Wanna come over here and end the night right?”

I’m not getting out of this bag. But you’re more than welcome to venture on over here, sexy.”

God, I wouldn’t even know how to find the zipper at this point. Did we finish the bottle?”

No idea.”

Their laughs echoed into the frozen night for a few seconds after they stopped, and it wasn’t long before Lem’s eyes closed and she found herself floating in a dark haze of whiskey, laughter and the knowledge that her lover was only a few inches away.


She started awake to a searing pain in her head that throbbed throughout her upper body. She took in a shaky breath, the cold air sliding down her throat making the pain even worse. She smelled frozen dirt and realized she was lying on the ground, and as soon as she thought it, the memory of Ian rushed through her head.

Oh God, Mark.

Tears welled in her eyes at the realization that not only was Mark dead, she was all alone in the frozen woods, miles from the road.

Why am I still alive?

She had no idea why Ian had left her; no idea how she had survived his attack. But she was awake and knew she had to get to the gun and get the hell out of here if she could.

She laid in the dirt for a few minutes longer listening for footsteps or any sound that would tell her there was someone else around, but the only sounds she heard were the trees rustling in the icy wind and the hissing of the dying fire. As she listened, she started to slowly move her body, trying to feel if the damage was as bad as the throbbing told her it probably was. The pain was centered in her neck and upper back. Had he stabbed her? She didn’t know, but decided it was best to go slowly.

She finally made it to her feet, the throbbing intensifying as she paused for a moment, swaying in the icy silence. She was dizzy and weak, but she fought past it, knowing her only chance was to get to the gun and get moving down the trail. If she could just stay conscious and stay on the trail, she might come across other hikers and possible rescue. She knew it was her only hope. To stay here was to die.

The tent flap was whipping in the wind, still open from when she had spotted the blood and followed it towards the copse of trees. Bending over was an agony that brought tears to her eyes once again, but she knew if she broke down now, there was no way she was getting back up again. She was grateful she had dressed for the cold the night before. Adding layers was another thing beyond her ability right now, even though she could have used her coat. She glanced at it longingly but left it to search in her pack.

As her hands closed around the gun that was still buried there, she closed her eyes, feeling slightly safer but no less scared. She knew she had to be hurt bad enough for Ian to leave. He must have assumed he’d killed her. Shivering, she shook her head slightly only to be rewarded with a stabbing pain in her head. She couldn’t think about it now; couldn’t think about the discs of blood she followed as she made her way out of the tent and away from the campsite toward the trail.

The only thing she had grabbed besides the gun was a canteen. She could barely keep herself upright. She knew she wouldn’t be able to carry a pack and herself down the mountain; didn’t even know if she would make it farther than the next step, but she had to try. Thank God the water hadn’t frozen yet.

She didn’t so much walk down the trail as she stumbled in a haphazard arc, the only thought in her head was placing one foot in front of the other. She held the gun frozen in her right hand, afraid that if she put it away, Ian would come crashing through the trees to finish what he’d started. She tried to keep stock of her surroundings, but things kept going in and out of focus. I’m not going to make it, she thought, as the cold settled in and she started to feel warm and sleepy. The only thing she wanted to do was lie down and close her eyes for a few moments; just a short rest, then she would continue.

Love and SoCS Are In Da Blog – Relative with a touch of empathy and love

Everything is relative…

I’m at a loss as to why all these prompts bring up such heavy subjects for me. I try to keep things light, in some ways, here on the blog, but I know that doesn’t always happen. It probably has a lot to do with my own personality and how I’ve come to realize that talking about hard things isn’t a bad thing; in fact, it’s a good thing. It’s hard to do and it’s hard to read and to listen to sometimes, but I think mistakes were made in the past by shrouding things in secrecy. It set us so apart from each other when we could have been helping and holding each other; we could have realized that everyone has something, whether they admit it or not, and we can find comfort in each other and knowing we aren’t a sole wanderer in pain.

When I was a child, I didn’t understand this. Sitting in a group therapy session and listening to others tell their stories of abuse, I somehow came away feeling guilty. My story isn’t that bad. Was I really abused? I felt like I didn’t belong in that group and somehow turned inward rather than opening up more.

I’ve come to realize that someone else’s pain isn’t your pain and we all deal with our own in ways that others can’t or aren’t able to yet. It’s all relative.

It took me a long time to finally open up, but when I did, I found that there were so many children who were abused, sometimes in small ways; sometimes in horrific ways that I can’t even imagine surviving. I also found that the more I spoke, the more I had others thank me for opening up; that somehow my story helped them with something they were dealing with.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, just because someone has been through something different than what you experienced, it doesn’t make what you went through somehow less; it doesn’t mean anything at all really except that we can help each other and hold each other and open up, if we can, in order to perhaps find comfort… that sounds rather trite, finding comfort in pain, but I can tell you that the worst times in my life were times where I felt alone. I felt like I was the only one who was going through a dark, cold forest filled with cobwebs and ice and there was no one there to help me or to understand.

It brings to mind one of my favorite movies – What Dreams May Come. I don’t mean to give away the ending for those of you who haven’t seen it, but it ties in so perfectly to what I’m trying to say here. So, if you haven’t seen it and want to, which I highly recommend, then don’t read the next paragraph.

What I loved most about the movie was that after doing everything he could to help his wife, Chris decided the only place he wanted to be was with her, by her side, so he decided to join her in hell. Once that decision was made, it somehow woke Annie up, because no one who is living in hell or has experienced hell wants their loved ones there, in fact, we do everything in our power to shield them from it while somehow wishing someone would sit by our side and just be with us for a time. She finally came out of it and realized that she loved him enough to break free.

It takes severe empathy; that willingness to drop all pretense and really sit with someone else in extreme pain. And there are those of us out there who are willing to do that and I can tell you, those are the people I love most. The ones who don’t try to fix it; the ones who just sit with me for a time and hold my hand and tell me they love me. It’s usually the only thing that can bring me out of the darkness.

I think I went way off into left field with this one, but I hope I was able to tie it back to relative with just a touch of empathy and love.

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill and Love Is In Da Blog hosted by Bee. Feel free to click on the links and join the love!


Love Is In Da Blog

Love Is In Da Blog – Grandma Myrtie

I have to confess something; I never actually called my grandmother “Grandma Myrtie” but I wish every day that I had because I think it fits her so much better. I don’t know why I was forced into calling my grandparents such proper names. I even passed it onto my own children and it drives me crazy! I’m all for the cute names that grandparents call themselves these days and I for one am going to come up with something my grandkids can call me that isn’t as formal and will hopefully bridge the gap and have the added benefit of not making me feel old!

I was named after both my grandmothers but for some reason, I always gravitated more towards my middle name. There was even a point when I thought of legally changing my name and as I was thinking about it today, I realized it might have had a deeper meaning than I at first thought. Maybe I had a deeper connection with my Grandma Myrtie than I realized and that makes me happy because I love her so much and I miss her every day.

I decided to write an acrostic poem for her and share it with you all today. This is to you, Grandma, wherever you are. Just know that I love you; I appreciate everything you did for us behind the scenes and I wish I’d seen the real you that you didn’t feel you could show us.


Grandma Myrtie

Gently floating around the edges of my life
Regal, noble, strong
Always loving
Notably discerning
Determined presence in
My growth; finally finding
A wary balance

Mysteriously happy
Years flying by
Ripples of
Time I spent
In her beautiful,
Everlasting presence

This is part of Love Is In Da Blog hosted by Bee. Today we were prompted to write about grandparents. Fell free to click the links and join the love!

Love Is In Da Blog – Loving Siblings

I love my siblings. Some of us are closer than others, which might have something to do with a huge age difference between my older brothers and sister. They were already grown and actually tended us sometimes when I was younger. We all stay in touch for the most part, but there’s only four of us who stay in regular contact… the total number is nine, just in case you were wondering; and I’m not the baby, but I’m pretty close to it. If you ever saw my younger brother, you wouldn’t think he was the baby. We call him “little brother” just to tease him sometimes because he’s six foot something and two hundred something pounds (I honestly have no idea how much my brother weighs and I’m not very good at guesstimating weight, but hopefully he’ll forgive me if I’ve grossly overestimated the numbers). Needless to say, he’s a big guy!

I’m lucky enough to call one of my sisters my best friend. We talk almost daily and there was a year or two not very long ago where I basically lived at her house. We just seem to get each other. If we haven’t talked in a while, you can guarantee one of us will be on the phone bitching the other out for not calling in so long. We’re only eighteen months apart so we haven’t always been this close. There was a lot of needless competition and misunderstandings when we were younger, but I’m happy we’re past that stage.

The best way I can describe the relationship I have with them is a post my brother put on Facebook a few months back. It was a picture that I’d seen floating around on my feed for a while, but my brother decided it would be funny to post the picture with only one comment: Helen Espinosa. I guess I’m that one sister. (Image courtesy of Etsy, although I have no idea if that is the original or not…)

I wrote a bit about them last year when my brother had this crazy idea to do Tough Mudder together. Since it was his idea and he and my sister had to talk me into it, it was pretty funny that I was the only one who could have actually done it when the time came. We ended up transferring our tickets to this year and I’m really trying to gear myself up for it, but it will most likely just be me this year too. It sounded fun when we were all going through the pain of training and talking about it and working towards it; going solo sounds like a lot less fun.

Where would I be without them? We’ve all been through so much in our own lives and growing up together and I’m happy to say we’ve sort of come back together in the last ten years and I couldn’t be happier.


This post is part of Love Is In Da Blog hosted by Bee. Today we were prompted with brothers and sisters. Feel free to click the links and join the love!