Wednesday, December 29, 2010



So much for my list of "want-to-do's" during my 2 week break from school. I think my computer is feeling neglected from lack of use and attention. Oh, well. I'm glad we're busy at work ~ that means more $$! And when I'm not working, I'm keeping my promise to my kids that this time is theirs and we're playing games, watching movies and having Wii marathons. Family tree will have to wait, the blogs in  my head will have to wait and my FB friends ~ yep, feeling neglected, too! No apologies. I have my priorities. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

God's Hand

This past Monday morning I saw a glimpse of God's hand in my life. I was on my way to St. Cloud to  work at the hospital. A few miles before my exit, I noticed that the truck was sounding funny and when I had to slow down for a car in front of me - it started to speed up again....without my foot even touching the accelerator!
Needless to say, I got a little excited. I kept playing with the gas and brake pedals hoping that the throttle would become unstuck and began praying for help. As I neared my exit, I started to apply the brakes and by the time I was near the end of the exit ramp, I was literally standing on the brake pedal with both feet. The truck wouldn't stop and kept going at about 20-25 mph.
Of course, at the bottom of my ramp was a stoplight - and it was Red and we were at the height of morning traffic. A row of cars to my left, a semi in front of me and a semi in the right turn lane. All stopped.
Fear bubbled to the surface and began overflowing as I started calling on the  name of Jesus and asking, "What should I do?! What should I do?!"
Just as I was coming to terms with the fact that I was going to have to crash into the back of the semi in front of me, the semi in the turn lane made his turn. I swerved over and got behind him, turning through a red light while the opposing traffic was turning into the same lane.
The semi in front of me came to a dead halt as he waited to make a left turn into the truck stop. A quick look told me I had no choice but to chance it and go between him and the snowbank. So, with wheels part way up the snowbank - I rambled right on by, dodging cars and trucks coming and going in and out of McDonald's and the truck stop.
By this time, I was near hysterics. So many thoughts going through my mind, trying to find a solution and praying for a miracle. I glimpsed a huge hotel parking lot over to my right and decided that it was my goal. But right after passing the semi, there was a stop sign. Another semi was turning towards me and a city bus was stopped in front of me.
Quick thinking - 1. crash into the semi  2. crash into the bus or 3. squeeze between the bus and the stop sign and take the right to the hotel.
I chose option #3 and whipped my truck around the bus.....only to see, there in the dark, a person STANDING in the space I needed to go! I only had one option left. I jerked the wheel to the right and slammed into the snow bank.
I tried shutting the truck off and starting it back up thinking that somehow it would now be unstuck. Nope.
I turned the truck off, called my Love and just started bawling. I was shaking, thankful, alive and in one piece. While I waited for my Knight to come and rescue me, an Angel in a big, black truck knocked on my window.
I must have looked like a blubbering fool. "I'll just go ahead and pull you out."
He thought I had wiped out because of the glare ice on the road. I giggled through my sobs, which I'm sure sounded anything but ladylike, and explained what had happened. So he pulled me out and parked my behind at McDonald's to wait.

The entire ordeal lasted less than 2 minutes and as I sat at Mickey D's and waited, I couldn't stop marveling at how I wasn't hurt, the truck had not a scratch on it and I had managed to not hurt anyone else.  All I could do was sit there and thank God over and over.

The kicker? Ford KNOWS about this malfunction but since "not that many people have been affected by it" they haven't placed a recall on it. WHAT?! Excuse me ~ it shouldn't matter if it's only been 5 vehicles or 1,'s a safety issue. I guess that's an entire issue unto itself. So much for Made in America.

My God is an awesome God! There's just no other way to say it.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.~Psalm 91:11-15

Sunday, November 14, 2010

To everything, turn, turn, turn....

Yesterday I awoke to a mini snowstorm. Our first of the season. It was absolutely beautiful. It always amazes me when I go to bed knowing there's grass and leaves on the ground only to wake up and find my world completely changed and beautified. I stood at my window yesterday watching the kids play outside and Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 came to my mind.

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

I thought of the many changes taking place in my life and our home. I thought of my children and how their seasons are on opposite planes from each other. When one is starting new season, the other is beginning a dying season.
Our oldest is leaving for Chicago at the end of the month to study Graphic Design. This is a bittersweet pill to swallow. I'm happy that she's following her dream and going on an adventure to start a life of her own. And I'm so proud of where she is now and how far she has come. She has finally beaten her depression and claimed control of her life back. But I am struggling with the end of this chapter. I'm going to miss her so much that I can already feel that empty ache inside beginning to grow. Go, Michaela! Grab onto life and enjoy your new season!
There are other changes that can't be talked about here that affect our entire family and extended family. Changes that are exciting and scary, sickening and pride building all at the same time. My son is having a hard time adjusting to some of these changes. He's been worrying and having problems sleeping. His happy-go-lucky attitude is overshadowed now by a quietness and irritability. It's affecting his school work and he's been making poor decisions. It's frightening because I don't recognize this boy. He is in a season of crying, searching and tearing down. He is scared and it shows. My struggle is that I won't know how to mother my son through his hard season. When he was little, I could wrap him up in my lap and sing and kiss his fears away. Now that he is older, he is all too aware of what the future could bring. He doesn't want Mom to kiss the hurt. He wants answers that I don't have. He wants reassurance that it will be alright even though he knows it might not be. I've let him know that this future scares me, too, and we need to talk about it to help each other cope.  
I have learned that there are times when we need to hold on tight as if our life depended on it; because sometimes it does. But there are other times when we need to open our hands and let it go. Throw it into His lap and leave it there~ because our life or somebody else's depends on it. I pray that I can teach my son that this is one of those times that we need to open our hearts and cast our cares into His lap because we can't control everything. And the burden of worrying about things he can't control is much too great for a young boy to be lugging around on his shoulders.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When You Come

When you come to me, unbidden,
Beckoning me
To long-ago rooms,
Where memories lie.

Offering me, as to a child, an attic,
Gatherings of days too few.
Baubles of stolen kisses.
Trinkets of borrowed loves.
Trunks of secret words,


Maya Angelou

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ain't Nobody Gettin' in the Way of My Truth!

I have to admit that when I started my physical therapy that I was in a very angry place. I hated the fact that here I was ~ yet again. Still. ~ dealing with the outcome of what had been done to me. Angry at the thought of having to travel up and down that healing spiral once again. Furious at having been pushed into facing it. Pushed. Such a pansy word. More like hog-tied, blindfolded and catapulted into the midst of it. 

And yet I noticed something along the way. The more I spoke my Truth, the faster my healing came. I didn't hold back. I refused to keep anything hidden or unspoken. 

Jesus said, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32 
Of course, He was talking about freedom from sin. But sin is what caused my pain in the first place. My father's act of sin wreaked havoc on my body and my life. And as I continued to hold onto that sin and keep it a secret all these years, it made me sick and fearful.

The minute I opened my mouth and broke my Silence, my Truth began setting me free. The more I spoke about it, the lighter I felt. A Phoenix born of the ashes. Flying high. Full of color and life.

I have learned to speak even when my voice shakes. Even when the fear inside tells me to "Be Quiet!" Even when doubt says it's not worth saying anything. So what if my voice shakes? Who cares? What's important is the words and Truth falling from my lips. 

I refuse to let anyone else tell my story. I'm the only one who has lived it. I'm the only one that knows the facts. There are plenty of people who try and tell me what my Truth should be, or that it's wrong, or I don't have the right to speak or feel the way I do.

Ya know what? I'm going to continue telling my story until I'm fully healed. Inside and Out. In fact, I'm even going to continue telling it after that! Speaking, talking, writing, singing...has set me FREE! Why in the world would I give that joy and blessing up? 

I can't help the fact that you may get offended or that you don't like what I say. And, frankly, I don't care. It's MY Story. MY Truth. MY Life. MY Healing. Not yours. 

Here I am on the 6th week of physical therapy. And next week we dwindle down to only once per week. THAT is something to shout about! I prayed and prayed for a healing and He gave me my voice so that I could speak about what is True. What is Real. And when I began letting it flow freely from my mouth, the healing came with it. 

No. I'm not totally physically healed. It's quite possible that I may never be. That's not what's important. What is important is that I've learned to embrace my Story and not let anyone take it from me. I've learned to speak my Truth even though my voice shakes at times. Herein lies my strength and I double-dog dare you to try and rip it away from me!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bruno Mars - Just The Way You Are [Official Video]

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dear Miss K

Dear Miss K:

Here's a few words from all of us: LEAVE US ALONE. STAY OUT OF OUR LIVES.

You're a horrible friend who tells lies, breaks confidences and stabs those you supposedly love in the back - repeatedly. 

Why, YES, I DO have a blog that relates my life story. Probably the only truth you have ever told in your life. However, I started this blog AFTER you chose to run your mouth about my life and talk bad about me behind my back. Almost an entire YEAR after you first gossiped about me and what I was going through. So there is NO WAY that anyone else could have known anything I was going through regarding my dad had it not been for your ever-open and lying mouth.

As for what you've said about all my other're disgusting to even try and pawn that off onto someone else. Especially when the fact is that most of us didn't even know each other at the times you were talking bad about them to each of us. 

None of us want a thing to do with you and it's not Boo Boo's fault. It's YOURS. Leave her alone and leave the rest of us alone. Don't even let our names fall from your mouth. We are done with you. You never were a real friend but you've always been a liar and a backstabber. 

P.S. Thank you for introducing me to all my wonderful Girls! It's the only good thing that came out of being your "friend."

Monday, August 30, 2010

No – I don’t wanna.....

" A common analogy for the healing process is that it's like a spiral. You go through the same stages again and again; but traveling up the spiral, you pass through them at a different level, with a different perspective. You might spend a year or two dealing intensely with your abuse. Then you might take a break and focus more on the present. A year or so later, changes in your life - a new relationship, the birth of a child, graduation from school, or simply an inner urge - may stir up more unresolved memories and feelings, and you may focus in on it again, embarking on a second or a third or a fourth round of discovery. With each new cycle, your capacity to feel, to remember, to make lasting changes, is strengthened." (Bass & Davis, The Courage to Heal, 1994)

I have been up and down on that spiral many times and I had finally reached a point where I could let it rest for a while. I was at peace and able to focus in on Today. Right Now.

All that has changed and I'm hanging off the cliff on that spiral of healing.

Holding tight so as not to fall off into the abyss.

Stuck at Anger Impasse.  
I have dealt with immense pain for over the last year and a half. Not just during sex but even while I'm relaxed or going about my day. It feels as though some maniac has taken an ice pick and is stabbing violently through my pelvis and up between my legs. It reached the point to where I just couldn't live like that anymore. I went to my doctor who sent me to a specialist who then referred me to a physical therapist.

Turns out that my pelvic muscles are so tightly wound that they can't relax which in turn leads to immense pain. Subconsciously, she said that my body is rejecting anything that is put inside my body or even placed next to it. It's stressed out. After spending an hour in her office being examined and giving a complete history ~ it was discovered.

The pain had started shortly after my dad had been released from jail. I remember that time, too. It was scarier and more stressful for me than reading my victim impact statement in court. I began having flashbacks and nightmares where I'd wake myself up screaming. I had to sleep with a light on or the TV on so I wouldn't be in the dark. I was a complete and utter mess. The little girl in me knew that he was somewhere out there, capable of hurting me again. Capable of appearing at my bedside in the middle of the dark night. Even though the woman in me knew that he wasn't coming for me. I was safe.  
So here I am. Again. Paying for his wrongs. And I'm ANGRY. I'm so angry! I don't want to do this right now! Physical therapy, remembering, flashbacks, nightmares, therapy…I DON'T WANT TO!!! I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I just want it to GO AWAY.  
How is it that I have to continue the rest of my life going up and down on this rollercoaster because of something HE did? How I wish this page was something out of Harry Potter so that it would SCREAM when you read it. I don't know if that scream would ever end. It would be a continuous scream like the screams of the souls in Hell. It feels as though that's where I am right now. My own personal Hell.


I have been here before.

I've faced those demons head on and fought my way out of Hell time and time again.

I am strong and nothing will keep me down.

Nothing will keep me from Healing and Thriving.


Bring on the Anger- it's the fuel I need to press on and continue on my Journey!

I'm so thankful for those of you that continue to support and encourage me. It means SO much to know that I'm not alone and that I have travel buddies.







Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Another trip to the doctor. Yet another specialist. Now I have to endure physical therapy for the next month; possibly longer. I've never heard of physical therapy for that part of the body ~ but I will do whatever it takes. I'll be going through 3 different therapies several times a week plus things I need to do at home.

I left the doctor's office doing my yoga breathing so that I didn't have a break down right in the middle of everyone. The anger and frustration kept trying to bubble over and all I really wanted to do was start punching something, someone, anything. I wanted to run through the halls screaming at the top of my lungs.

How is it that, yet again, I'm paying for what you chose to do to me when I was a child?




I'm so angry! Yes, I love you. But honestly, right at this moment, I hate you.

It's not fair that every day ~ EVERY DAY~ that goes by I deal with it in some way. A flashback, nightmare, my physical pain….something. Day in and day out. It will be with me the rest of my life.

You? You got a slap on your hand and go on living. Ignoring me and everything in between as if it (and I) never even existed. It makes me sick. You have no idea. None. I wish I could turn my back on it like you have. Like everyone else has. But I can't. Because it's built into every fiber of my being. Every cell of my body screams at me to deal with it and never lets me forget or run from it.


God forbid that I ever hurt either of my children in such horrific ways as you have and then turn my back on them and leave them all alone to deal with the mess I created. You want to keep professing God ~ fine ~ but don't speak so loudly when you haven't handled the business in your own yard.



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Way or the Highway!

I received a call last Friday from my youngest brother. Thought he was calling just to chat but found out quickly that wasn't the case. He was simply 'reminding' me to call Dad because it was his birthday. Yep, I knew that.

Do I need a reminder? No.

Was I going to call him? No.

Did I even send a card? No.

I love my little brother. I'm not mad that he called just for that purpose. I explained to him the Why's of my actions. He said he understood and even agreed with me. Was he telling the truth? Who knows. It doesn't matter. I shouldn't, however, have to explain and defend my actions. My relationship with our Dad is my business and his…..especially because of what transpired between us.  
I don't question or discourage any of my siblings and their relationships with our Dad. We all went through Hell and were destroyed because of him. We all have our own lives, hearts and paths to rebuild ~ with or without Dad. Those decisions should be ours and ours alone without having to explain the reasoning.

I love my Dad. Without question. Without explanation. Without apology.

My entire life I struggled and worked to build a relationship with him. It was always me making the first move, the phone call, and traveling to visit. For a few years when I cut him out of my life the first time, I listened to my sister try to put guilt trips on me while she told me all the reasons I needed to go visit him and call him; about how sad and upset he was because I didn't send a card for Father's Day or his birthday. Back then, it only made me angry. She had no idea WHY I had taken him out of my life. There was no way I could explain it.

Here we are two years after he's been released from jail for what he did to me. I refuse to be bullied or made to feel guilty for not calling him on his birthday.

Let me ask some questions:

Who made the first move after Dad was released from jail to try & rebuild the relationship? ~ Me. I called him on the Thanksgiving after he was released.  
Has he called me at all since then? ~ NO.

Has he emailed me at all since then? ~ NO.

Has he written to me at all since then? ~ NO.

Did HE call or send a card on MY birthday? ~ NO.

Relationships are a two-way street. My siblings and I have always been the ones to reach out to our dad, to visit ~ to make the effort. I have reached the point and been through enough counseling to realize that I don't have to put up with it anymore. I'm worth so much more than that.

It's sad that my own father doesn't see my value or the value of a relationship with his children. What an empty legacy he will leave behind.

No. I'm not angry with my dad. I placed this in God's hands long ago. He knows what is best for me and will take care of it. My dad has his own path to rebuild. How and with whom he chooses to do so is his business and a decision he'll have to live with the rest of his life.

I'll continue to stand firm without guilt. I finally love, respect and care about myself. Anyone who doesn't share this view and refuses to do the same isn't welcome into my world. 

For the first time I'm in control. It's my way or the highway. No apologies.





Monday, July 19, 2010

#91…A twist on #83?

"I write "Good-bye" letters to my kids and my brother every time I get on a plane. The outside of the envelope says "Open Only On My Death." but I always end up letting them read them when I return. It's kind of morbid but I can't help it."

Recently, I left my Love, my kids and all my responsibilities to jump on a plane and zoom to Florida. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I'm not a fan of flying. I love the hustle and bustle of the airport. My heart races with excitement when I take my seat and when we land. I like everything about the act of flying before and after. Just not being in the air. 

Why? Because I have no control over what could happen. If we're going down ~ that's it. If someone takes over the plane ~ that's it. If we explode ~ that's it. I just don't like the odds. 

This trip was different. My heart was at such peace! I wasn't worried about crashing, exploding or any other catastrophe that we might run into. Until we were just about to land in Florida.


The pilot had been trying to beat the rain that was racing us there and he lost….but only by a few minutes. I saw out the window that the ground was getting closer and the houses were getting bigger. The rain was beating the plane like a maniac and suddenly there was no visibility, as if we were playing hide-and-seek in the clouds. I started getting nauseous because the plane was dropping and shaking.


It was at this point that I started to feel the 'What-If' Monster rear his ugly head. The more I could see of him, the more unsettled I became. But only until I heard that Voice deep within me….."Put your trust in Me." 

What? Trust You. I already do, don't I? *shake, shake, DROP* 

"Trust in Me." Trust in You. I DO trust You. * A deep breath in…* I DO trust in You. I do. I really do! 

Such a revelation to me as I sat back in my seat feeling that Peace roll right over my body from head to toe. I was in Great Hands and everything would be just fine. My heart trusted in Him. I was surprised….my heart really did trust in Him. I had no fear in me at that moment. 

Suddenly, everything began to get smaller again and we were pulling up. 

"What the…?!" The pilot came on the overhead and said we were going to circle around for awhile because he couldn't see the runway. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Pilot. Thank you for not landing on a piece of ground you couldn't see!

We ended up circling over the ocean for almost an hour while we waited for the rain to pass. As much as I wasn't thrilled about THAT aspect, I spent that hour sitting in my seat with a silly grin on my face. I had removed a brick from the wall. Just one brick. But it was a big brick. More light was gleaming through that old, ugly barrier. 

Wait…TWO old bricks were removed. I never wrote my "Open Only Upon My Death" letters before I left. I guess I had already planned on coming back in one Peace.





Thursday, July 1, 2010

A time of renewal

I've been waiting for quite awhile for this trip. Since my walk through hell 2 years ago I've been running mostly on fumes. With little else to give at most times, I wonder how I've managed to continue to serve and help those I love and care about most while continuing my schooling and other things in my life. It must be the strength that God gives women that has pulled me through.

So. Here I am. Nobody to think about but myself. Nothing required of me except to breathe. It feels SO good. Soaking up the sun, sights and sand.
I feel a shift taking place. A missing piece of myself being replaced. And with that renewal comes things that I'm learning about myself. Some new. Some forgotten. All welcome. I'm once again feeling completely whole and at peace.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Special Message....

It's all about You, Baby!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Depleted Essence

Grandma died almost 6 years ago. I find it hard to believe it's been that long. The pain is still fairly raw at times. There are days I sit to write her a letter only to remember she would never get it. Times that I want her advice and wisdom to guide me through this maze of life. At other times when I'm feeling vulnerable, I just want to lay my head on her lap again and feel her gentle hand stroking my hair. I miss her so much!

About a year after she died, we went to her house to pick out what we wanted. I didn't want anything big or expensive. I just wanted the memories. I wanted things that I had grown up with. Things that meant something. One of those items I chose was a hand crocheted afghan that she had made. It had been in the basement, hiding in a corner as if it had been waiting for me. I was surprised nobody had snatched it up.

I brought it home along with my other treasures. There it made its home on our couch. Every night while watching TV, I would wrap up in the kaleidoscope of color and breathe in its scent. It smelled so completely like Grandma. The smell brought me home to her side and gave me peace.

All these years, even after several washings, it has held her scent. I often marveled at this. How is that even possible? I like to think it was her way of slowly weaning me off of the pain of losing her. Or that God knew what was to come in my life when I was forced to face my demons and knew I would need a piece of her to lead me through the darkness.

Today I held it to my face to breathe in her sweet essence once again. It wasn't there. It was gone. I panicked and began sniffing spot after spot hoping....hoping.


My heart felt a nudge of sadness and the sting of loss. 

Now all I hold are the memories and my treasures. Maybe it's just time.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Brother, My Soldier

I remember the day my brother was born. It was a Sunday and very early in the morning. I remember being taken to Grandma's house to wait. She tucked me into the hide-a-bed but I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned for what seemed like an eternity. I was so excited. Would I finally get the brother I had wanted for years?!

August 5th. Neil Armstrong, Thomas Lynch, Mark Mulder, Herb Brooks....all celebrated their birthdays on this day. But only one little person mattered to me.

Thomas David. 

There was a bond between us from the first day we met that I just can't explain. Even though we are nine years apart, it feels as if we're twins. We can finish each other's sentences, have conversations without saying a word and are so much alike in every way.

Not saying that we've never argued. We went through a time when he drove me nuts! He was entering puberty. By this time, I was newly married and trying to find my way in the adult world. He was newly hormonal and his only quest in life was to be obnoxious. Yet I loved him and our bond remained strong.

Then there was the time I became his Guardian/Mother-figure when he was 15. It was my turn to annoy him as I became extremely overprotective. Though he now realizes I did it out of love and fear, at the time he couldn't see it. I remember having to make house rules and setting curfews for him, overseeing his homework while he went to a private school and then homeschooling him, making sure he did his chores and worrying about him fitting in with friends and if he was dating the right girl. Disciplining was also my job. It wasn't fun for me and I know it wasn't for him. Yet he loved me and our bond remained strong.

I remember one night, he was 16 and borrowed our car to drive from Big Lake to Minneapolis to see his girlfriend. I tried to be nonchalant about the entire situation and calmly handed him the car keys, though inside I was dying and imagining the worst. I just wanted to keep him at home with me, safe and untouched by any danger. A minute turned into an hour, an hour into two and two into....past curfew. We had no cell phones then. I paced back and forth and watched down the driveway for headlights. Over an hour past curfew and I began making calls to hospitals, fearing that my worst nightmare had come to pass. My brother was a trustworthy teen and responsible. This wasn't like him to be late! Two hours after curfew...lights in the driveway! Relief, quickly followed by anger, flooded over me. He walked through the door and I began crying and screaming at him. Not bothering to ask why he'd  been late. He had simply lost track of time.

Now we're adults. He is my best friend. He is my life. He is my Hero.

Tom has been there through thick and thin. He has held my hand, held me up and been my rock through many difficult and heart wrenching times in my life. He's made me laugh and created so many fun and precious memories for me. He has been the kind of man and uncle that my children look up to and adore. He's a wonderful role model to them.

My brother has the kindest heart and is the most giving soul. He is a Good Man and those are hard to find in this world.

This past February, he told me he wanted to join the Army. A lifelong dream of his. There was nothing standing in his way at the moment and he was grabbing the opportunity. My heart dropped. Yet I said nothing except, "That's awesome! Go after your dream! Live life with no regrets." He signed up. He was sworn in. His time to head to Basic was set. It was so unreal to me. I knew it was real but kept avoiding the reality.

The day we went to sign the papers that made me his Power of Attorney, reality hit me like a brick wall at full speed. I held a brave face. Inside my heart wrenched in pain. We left the bank and went our separate ways. I got into my truck and began driving. And broke down sobbing. Now it was real. It was too real.

Our country is at war and my brother joined up to be a Cav Scout. Images of the night I handed the keys over to him washed over me. I remembered the fear I felt and the love the drove that fear. Again, I just wanted to keep him at home with me. Safe and untouched by any danger. But I love him and will support him. No matter what. I want him to be happy. No matter what.

He is now halfway through his OSUT training. We spent the weekend with him for Family Day. We sat in the theater in Fort Knox impatiently waiting for the ceremony to end so that we could finally hug him. The soldiers marched outside and got into formation. The moment I saw him in uniform, tears came to my eyes and pride overflowed in my heart. I could see the happiness and satisfaction he felt in his eyes. There was no doubt in my mind that he wasn't where he was supposed to be at that very moment. He will soon find out his orders. I pray he won't be deployed into a war zone. I pray for his safety. I  pray for his happiness.

I cannot lie~ I worry daily that his new Soldier status will be the thing that takes him away from me. Permanently. I honestly don't know how I could live life without him in it. But I have determined not to let my fear dictate how I live my life or control my actions. We will live life one day at a time the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

For now.....I will continue to hold, support, and love my Soldier, my Best Friend, my Hero, my Life....My Brother.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A picture is worth 1,000 words....

And nothing more needs said. Or does it? Nah. It's not worth it. It is what it is. Everyone knows....time for you to admit it, too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Ten things I wish I could say to ten different people:

1. I’m so proud of you for recognizing the situation for what it was & coming up with a solution...all without me.

2. Pay the money you borrowed / stole & stop trying to skirt the issue! You claim to be an adult ~ now act like it. And stop lying about it.

3. I love & miss you more than you know. I pray for your safety, health and happiness each night & think of you every day. I would be so lost if you were gone.

4. Do you realize how many people read your blog and smirk because of your two-faced life? Even so-called “best friends” that praise your work to your face talk of how pious and fake it is compared to the real you.

5. What are you waiting for?!

6. I just want to sit with you one more time, lay my head on your lap and just Be. I miss you SO much my heart aches.

7. I know you read my stuff and check my sites. And I know how. And I know when.

8. I’m so glad you trusted me with your secret. We will find a way to make it work!

9. I think it’s really deranged that you would use such an awful situation as a way to get things and be the center of attention.

10. I’m glad I made the truth public knowledge. And I wish you knew just how many people I have that support that decision and stand behind me.

Nine things about myself:
1. I write poetry to help me cope.
2. I like to eat pie dough when I’m sad or bored.
3. I get stressed out if I receive anything under 95% for a grade.
4. Daisies and lilacs are my favorite flowers.
5. I really, really want a bulldog, a rottweiler and a great dane.
6. And 2 pygmy goats.
7. School is my 2nd favorite place to be!
8. I love when my daughter snuggles up with me and talks or watches TV.
9. I love kicking around the soccer ball with my son and listening to his ideas.

Eight ways to win my heart: (Funny, my Baby is all of these & more)
1. Love my kids
2. Cook for me
3. Be goofy & laugh with me
4. Treat me like your princess
5. Share your heart with me & let me see what nobody else does
6. Put gas in my truck & leave a treat to surprise me
7. Be willing to try & learn new things
8. Be my buffer between me and the world when I need you to be.

Seven things that cross my mind a lot:

1. I want to move, I want to move.
2. Is it bedtime yet?
3. My brother..what’s he doing? is he ok?
4. Grandma...still. always.
5. Wedding / honeymoon plans.
6. Volunteering in Africa
7. Ugh, I can’t breathe.

Six things I wish I had never done:
1. Waited so long to break my Silence.
2. Started drinking Coke again.
3. Trusted J and K.
4. Stopped writing for so long.
5. Married someone who thought of me as only a trophy.
6. Developed asthma!

Five turn offs:
1. Smoking
2. Lying
3. Laziness
4. Arrogance
5. Messes

Four turn ons:

1. Compassion
2. Men playing with little kids
3. Trustworthiness
4. Strength

Three smileys that describe my life:
1. =)
2. ;)
3. ~:()

Two things I want to do before I die:
1. Publish my book
2. Volunteer in Africa

Friday, April 9, 2010

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou is a beautiful woman. A talented writer. And a SURVIVOR. This has to be one of my favorite poems in the world.

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Stop The Silence!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month~

*There are at least 60 million childhood sexual abuse survivors in the U.S. today. (Forward, 1993.)

*The typical child sex offender molests an average of 117 children, most of whom do not report the offense. (National Institute of Mental Health, 1988.)

*About 95% of teenage prostitutes have been sexually abused. (CCPCA, 1992.)

*Long term effects of child abuse include fear, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor self esteem, tendency toward substance abuse and difficulty with close relationships. (Browne & Finkelhor, 1986.)

*When sexually abused boys are not treated, society must later deal with the resulting problems, including crime, suicide, drug use and more sexual abuse. (Dr. William Holmes)

*Studies found that one-third of juvenile delinquents, 40 percent of sexual offenders and 76 percent of serial rapists report they were sexually abused as youngsters. (Dr. William Holmes)

YES. It's a fact. YES. It's ugly. YES. It's easier to pretend it doesn't exist or affect you.

But a CHILD you know is being sexually abused RIGHT NOW. They're scared. They're alone. They're ashamed. They're carrying the burden of a horrific, ugly secret.

What are you going to do?

BE THE SOLUTION. Listen loud enough to hear this child's silent screams. STOP THE SILENCE.

Warning Signs in Children and Adolescents of Possible Child Sexual Abuse

Any one sign doesn't mean that a child was sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that you begin asking questions and consider seeking help. Keep in mind that some of these signs can emerge at other times of stress such as:

* During a divorce
* Death of a family member or pet
* Problems at school or with friends
* Other anxiety-inducing or traumatic events

Behavior you may see in a child or adolescent

* Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
* Seems distracted or distant at odd times
* Has a sudden change in eating habits
o Refuses to eat
o Loses or drastically increases appetite
o Has trouble swallowing.
* Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity or withdrawal
* Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
* Writes, draws, plays or dreams of sexual or frightening images
* Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
* Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
* Talks about a new older friend
* Suddenly has money, toys or other gifts without reason
* Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty or bad
* Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language and knowledge

Signs more typical of younger children

* An older child behaving like a younger child (such as bed-wetting or thumb sucking)
* Has new words for private body parts
* Resists removing clothes when appropriate times (bath, bed, toileting, diapering)
* Asks other children to behave sexually or play sexual games
* Mimics adult-like sexual behaviors with toys or stuffed animal
* Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

Signs more typical in adolescents

* Self-injury (cutting, burning)
* Inadequate personal hygiene
* Drug and alcohol abuse
* Sexual promiscuity
* Running away from home
* Depression, anxiety
* Suicide attempts
* Fear of intimacy or closeness
* Compulsive eating or dieting

Physical warning signs

Physical signs of sexual abuse are rare. If you see these signs, bring your child to a doctor. Your doctor can help you understand what may be happening and test for sexually transmitted diseases.

* Pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
* Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
* Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

Monday, January 18, 2010

April 25, 2008...My Awakening

I just ran across this blog I wrote back on that day. Sometimes I still have trouble listening to my own mind and body. This is the reason my head is so jumbled and crazy lately. More Junk has surfaced and I haven't taken the time to deal with it or even acknowledge it. I cried as I reread this. It felt as if I was in that court room again. Feeling the dread and sick stomach. Feeling the anger and sadness. Feeling the strength and power of my own words.

Well, today was the long awaited & dreaded day. It was scheduled for 10am but we didn't get in til 12:20. So, I had all that time to pace and sweat. I had practiced in my support group last night, so I was feeling ok about it. The prosecuting attorney asked me if I'd like to sit by him or on the witness stand. I told him I want to sit where I can't see my dad because I knew it would mess me up. I also was able to sit up there before my dad was brought in so I wouldn't have to see him until it was over. The judge told me to take my time and say what I needed to say. I broke down before I even spoke one word. But I made it thru the entire statement. I was so proud of myself. The judge recessed for 5 minutes so the court could "get their emotions in check and recompose themselves". The clerk, court reporter and the bailiff all had teary eyes. The attorney sitting next to me even sniffled and it took him a few minutes to find his voice when he spoke. My dad stood and told me how very sorry he was and if he could turn back time, he would change it and he was taking full responsibility for what he had done and he loves me. I didn't really hear much after that. The attorney had a file folder that had "CONTACT VICTIM" on it. It was a triumphant moment for me when he grabbed that file, scribbled out "victim" and wrote "SURVIVOR" in its place. I felt as though I had crossed a bridge and started a new chapter in my life....the path to healing. Real & lasting healing. And it felt SO good. Below is a copy of my victim impact statement:

This statement was very difficult for me to write. I will never be able to convey in a few short minutes the impact this crime has had on my life. If you’ve never lived in my shoes, you can never fully understand. I have to do what’s best for me and that is to use my voice and speak my mind.

I forgave my dad a few years ago for what he did to me. At that time, I thought I had dealt with the abuse and put it out of my life. Since September when I was first interviewed by the police, I have come to realize that I was wrong. All I was doing was avoiding it. I’ve learned that it will take the rest of my life to deal with it, relearn my ways of thinking and come to a place in my life where I feel that it doesn’t control me anymore.

This whole ordeal has caused me a lot of humiliation, embarrassment, pain and anger. When I was a child, I was forced to keep it a secret. I was threatened by my dad that I wouldn’t be believed, that I was at fault, and that I would never see my brother and sister again. I dealt with it the best way a child knows how. Now I have spoken and the secret is out. I have to deal with it all again but this time publicly. I am looked at with different eyes by people who feel sorry for me and are horrified by my story. There are those who treat me differently or avoid me all together as if I have leprosy. As if I am the one who is guilty. I am now defined by the abuse that was done to me.

As a child growing up, I felt like a freak. I felt very alone in the world because I had an awful secret I had to keep hidden. I felt so ugly and worthless, never believing I deserved anything good, I grew up constantly watching my back, never letting my guard down. I was terrified of men because I thought they only wanted to abuse me. I took on the responsibility of protecting my brother and sister to make sure nobody touched them. I never had any close friends because I didn’t trust anybody. I grew up believing that somehow I deserved the abuse because I had been bad and God was punishing me. I cried and prayed every night asking God to forgive me for whatever I had done and to please make me a good girl so I could stop being hurt. The abuse formed and molded who I’ve become. I still carry all of those feelings around today.

I’ve begun therapy and also a women’s support group for survivors of sexual violence. My doctor has put me on anxiety medication and sleeping pills.

I have flashbacks and memories that are so paralyzing at times that I shake and cry and can’t function the rest of the day. I’ll end up spending hours and often days in bed because I can’t face life. I have intense panic and anxiety to the point that it’s difficult to run to the store or even order a pizza over the phone. I’m constantly on high alert, looking over my shoulder, feeling as though I’m being watched. I have no energy and no tolerance for anything. There are often times that I go for days without any sleep because when I do sleep, I have nightmares where I awake screaming and panicked. My world no longer feels safe for me on any level.

It has affected my work life, my relationship of 8 years and most importantly, my role as a mom. Small tasks such as helping with homework or playing a game with my children are so overwhelming for me. Even though I try to hide my pain from them, my children have told me they see it and they hear me cry at night. They’ve told me they’re afraid for me and they miss me and wish this would all go away so they can have their mom back. I am so angry that my babies that I’ve protected from birth have now become victims of his actions. My children should never have had to deal with any of this. Their world has been turned upside down.

What I need my dad to understand is that his pain, humiliation and confinement have been NOTHING compared to what he did to me. He destroyed an innocent child. He stole my childhood and my teenage years and basically, my entire life. The abuse started when I was 10. I turned 38 last weekend. I have dealt with this almost my whole life while he has gone on to live his as if nothing ever happened. He used me and then left me alone to pick up the pieces. What he needs to know is that I will have to deal with the abuse in some aspect of my life everyday until I die. It will never go away for me. There is no where I can turn where it’s not looking me in the face.

I have been asked by several people what I want the outcome of this situation to be. I can honestly say that I have already gotten what I wanted. My dad spoke the word “Guilty” when asked how he wanted to plead to this crime. This isn’t about revenge or even justice. It’s about my dad taking responsibility for his actions, for telling the world and my family what he has done.

I don’t want my dad to go to prison but I also don’t think he deserves to get off with just pleading guilty. My dad needs help and he needs to know he doesn’t have the right to hurt any more little girls. He needs to understand the full extent of the damage he’s caused not only to me but to our entire family.

Throughout this ordeal, I have been called a “victim”. A victim is one that has been used, injured, destroyed or tricked. I have lived this role since I was ten years old. The abuse has controlled every aspect of my life, determining how I react to people and situations, how I view the world and myself, how I live and breathe.

I will no longer fill those shoes. I will no longer be silent about the abuse. I will no longer hide from it. I am angry and I’m going to stand up, strong and tall, and talk about it every chance I get with the hope that I can help prevent other children from being hurt and destroyed by such heinous acts. It was my dad’s God-given responsibility to protect and love me as a child. He chose not to. I will no longer be silent and protect him. This is my God-given right. From this day forward~ I’m a Survivor.


This is what it looks like inside my head the past few days. UGH! Will I get to those 20-some unfinished blogs today? Hmmmm....perhaps. Maybe some yoga will help set things straight.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Attitude

So I like what I see when I’m looking at me
When I’m walking past the mirror
No stress through the night, at a time in my life
Ain’t worried about if you feel it
Got my head on straight, I got my mind right
I aint gonna let you kill it
You see I wouldn’t change my life, my life’s just…..Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine!

Mary J. Blige ~Gotta love her!

Don't Wanna Close My Eyes

It's coming up on 10 years together. I can't believe it. Sometimes it feels like it's only been a week. Other times it feels as if we've always been together. I do know that I can't imagine living my life with any other man. Ever.

As a girl, I dreamt of the man I wanted to be with. I wanted what they sang about in songs. I wanted what I saw in the movies. Deep, passionate, soul-shaking LOVE.

New Year's Eve ~ 1999....I met him. And I instantly knew when I shook his hand and our eyes met, that he was The One I would grow old with. The moment our hands touched, it felt as if we'd always known each other. The first time he held me in his arms ~ I was Home. Safe. Loved. Smitten.

We started off with a BANG and haven't stopped going since. He is the man I dreamt of as a girl lying in my bed at night envisioning my future.

He is my Safe Haven. My heart and soul trust in him and are safe with him. He knows my ugliest, darkest secrets and loves me still. He has seen me at my very worst. At my lowest point when I even scared myself. And he held me up and loved me still. He has walked beside me and carried me through the most heartbreaking walk of my life. And loved me still. He sees my absolutely goofy, little-girl side and adores me. My down-to-business, don't-mess-with-me side and loves me still. I am able to be absolutely open and vulnerable with him down to my core and am not afraid to be laughed at or rejected.

I LOVE him with every fiber and cell of my body. A few nights ago we were laying next to each other, looking at each other and discussing our day and our Future. And all I could think of was, "I never want this moment to end. I don't want to go to sleep." My heart is anchored with his. This man is my world and my Forever Love.

I have found that Deep, Passionate, Soul-Shaking Love with this man. We will never let it go. As I tried to go to sleep that night, this song kept playing over and over in my head. And it says it all.

I Don't Wanna Close My Eyes ~ Aerosmith

I could stay awake just to hear you breathing,
Watch you smile while you are sleeping,
While you're far away and dreaming,
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender,
I could stay lost in this moment forever,
When every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure,

I don't wanna close my eyes,
I don't wanna fall asleep,
Cause I'd miss you babe,
And I don't wanna miss a thing,
Cause even when I dream of you,
The sweetest dream would never do,
I'd still miss you babe,
And I don't wanna miss a thing.

Lying close to you,
feeling your heart beating,
And I'm wondering what you're dreaming,
Wondering if it's me you're seeing,
And then I kiss your eyes,
And thank God we're together,
I just wanna stay with you in this moment forever,
Forever and ever.


And I don't wanna miss one smile,
I don't wanna miss one kiss,
I just wanna be with you,
Right here with you, just like this,
Well I just wanna hold you close,
And feel your heart so close to mine,
And just stay here in this moment,
For all the rest of time

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bittersweet Beginnings....

2010. I join the ranks of people making lists for the New Year. Though I don't call mine resolutions. I call them Goals. My lists are always long and hopeful. Last year, I was able to check all but a couple items off of my list. This year, I've already got 2 things checked off with a 3rd task coming to a close quickly.


I hate messes. I can't stand clutter. I don't like having Things. I'm seriously not materialistic at all. My kids, on the other hand, take after their dad on this one. Especially my daughter. She has THINGS. Everywhere. All over. Stuffed here. Hidden there. It drives me batty. She's not even aware of everything she has. I don't get it. At all.

She turns 18 in 4 1/2 months. She's got The Itch and she's got it bad. She's looking forward to stepping through the magical portal into adulthood. Freedom to do what she wants! Space to run in the open wild! Making her own path in life.

With a lot of thought and wrestling within my heart, I decided to let her leave and move to her dad's for the remainder of her Ball & Chain Days. We decided it would be a nice transition before she left for college and was totally on her "own." She left a day earlier than planned which ripped at my heart. I cried. She cried. We held each other and cried.

Both of us felt the shift in our relationship at that moment. It hurt. It felt good. It was full of promise. It was too soon. It was right on time.

I grieved for a week. Seriously grieved. My heart ached and I crawled in my bed during my free moments and nursed my wounds. There comes a time when enough is enough and you need to pull yourself up and get back to life. So I did what I usually do in these situations. I threw myself head first into the 2010 Goals list.

I tackled all the bedrooms (including closets and drawers), the hall closet, games, both safes and both bathrooms. I made a pile for the VA to come and get. I seriously don't know how I will get this stuff out to the curb. I have a pile the same size to throw out.

Last night, I went through all the email accounts and cleaned them out, updated the master password list, and deleted subscriptions & accounts we don't use. I also deleted all my other blogs except for 2. This morning, I had a shredding party which will continue into this afternoon as I go through both filing cabinets.


It's a mantra I repeat in my head as I'm cleaning, deleting, organizing. It feels so good! It feels so freeing! What a great way to start the New Year.

Bittersweet transitions, New Beginnings, and letting go of Things that no longer deserve to take up space in my home or life.