Monthly Archives: March 2017

UNCLE LOUIS & MY SELFISH ASS

There are still days I struggle to “fit in”. I know I don’t need to. I know it doesn’t matter. I know I love myself now for all that I am and am not. But I admit- there are days I still struggle to be her. The Mom of 2 with the mini-van who goes to Pilates class and church regularly and makes dinner every night and goes door to door with her kid selling girl scout cookies and can’t wait to host Thanksgiving dinner. Admitting you aren’t those things is hard. And feels vulnerable. And like every other perfect wife and Mom looks at you as if you’re a failure. As if you’re selfish and awful.

I chose to get married and have kids. In fact…after MANY pregnancy losses I REALLY chose to have kids. And those 2 mean the WORLD to me. Ill stab a mother fucker if they hurt my kids. Dont doubt that. But there is no denying who I am and how I do things is so very different than most. And even though Im ok with it. It doesn’t make it easier.
At my grandmother’s funeral recently I stood at her graveside and whispered “and now the women go.” In the past 11 years I lost both grandfathers and my Dad and my second Mom, Lynda. The man I married has a disease that will take him. And it does not escape me that everyone leaves. Everyone. All the men go. In every way. Death, running, whatever it is…they go. And perhaps its the knowledge that they all leave that makes me who I am. The girl who is not attached. Who can’t attach. Who runs. Who does things differently. Who’d live in a tiny house on the side of a mountain alone if she could.
I have a degree in Psychology. I know how the mind works. I know the fear of abandonment is real and all of the defense mechanisms that one creates to squelch that fear.
I know what wanderlust is. I know that wanting to get in your car and drive far away and hike alone is probably not normal. I think I realized Im not exactly “normal” a long time ago. Whatever that is. 🙂 And in this past year I am really ok with it. Not being normal.
I cuss a lot. I don’t like weak women. Or subservient women…being that is my biggest fear. I love to be alone. I love to be with my friends. I LOVE beer. I don’t really love wine. I truly HATE shopping. I do it online now. The thought of a house in the suburbs makes me want to throw up. I couldn’t care less about my furniture, my kitchen appliances, my decor, my throw pillows ( I have none), or what color scheme my house is (there is none). I eat cereal for dinner often. I’d pick Johnny Cash over Luke Bryan 10 times over. I own a shotgun. I hate bigots. I have absolutely no comprehension of why anyone thinks gay people shouldn’t get married. Why the hell is it anyone else’s business? I love high heels and lipstick and having big hair & Im barely 5 feet tall but Ill start and finish a bar fight without a blink. I might lose- but I wont stop swinging. I believe in big, awesome love that causes butterflies- and not accepting less than that- EVER!
My kids are funny. They can survive on their own now. I let them watch Friday, the movie, when they were like 10 and 11. What else do you need? The thought of a brunch/tea party with the “ladies” makes me want to smoke a joint. I’d rather throw on a ball cap and climb a mountain with my girls. Brunch is dumb. And for people who slept too late to eat breakfast. Women who have no friends and never go out with them and only have their husbands to tag on Facebook are weird to me. I love rap music. I love country music. I love music. I miss my Dad. Weirdly- I think of my Pawpa more often. When I saw my Pawpa’s only surviving brother, Louis, at my grandmother’s funeral recently- I lost it. Id held it together for so long. But his face is Pawpa’s face. And I fell limp into a 90 year old man’s arms and cried like an infant in a cemetery. And he held me and patted my back and just said “I know…I know…”. And he did.
I know Im different. I know Im atypical. I know Im not the best Mom. I know Im selfish and free-spirited and cuss too much and constantly fight the urge to just run. RUN. Leave it all behind and just go. I hope my kids know that has nothing to do with them and everything to do with WHO I am. And that they love me anyway.
Im learning to love me. Every day. For all the good things I am. Deep, too deep, sensitive, nostalgic, smart, kind, forgiving, happy. And all of the things I am that may not be considered so good.
I posted a song this morning called “Colder Weather” by the Zac Brown Band. And its the story of a man who cannot change who he is. A wanderer, a leaver, a gypsy. But I am the man in the song. The weirdo girl who leaves before she can be left. Who wanders. Who is never satisfied. Who loves big. Who is learning and accepting that I may not be perfect. Far from it. But that’s ok. Every single person who’s crossed my path has taught me something. And a few taught me that being authentically me is the only right thing I can do. Figuring out who you are may take a lifetime. ACCEPTING who you are….well…..THAT is everything!
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FINE LINES

As I age there are lots of wrinkles on my face. LOTS. In fact, this reminds me—I need to find a groupon for Botox. And I don’t want to hear shit about how its poisonous….so is my face looking like an 82 year old man’s butt. So shut it. I don’t love the big huge wrinkles but its a funny thing….Im actually, truthfully kind of fond of the fine lines. You know- the ones that are very thin and fine and come out of the sides of your eyes and really show up when you laugh or cry or smile. I actually, honestly like them. Those fine lines.
I took a little trip to Estes Park to meet a dear friend for some hiking the other day. When I jumped in my Jeep I just looked at the crack that runs horizontally across the windshield. You see- for those that don’t own Jeeps or live in the mountains…Jeep windshields are disposable. Truly. I have a 2015 Jeep and am on windshield number 3. The rocks and debris seem to hit the small rectangular piece of glass just right and they crack easily. It might be the roads Im traveling too ;)-. Anyway- Ive given up getting it fixed or replaced with every crack and just live with it. So I got in the Jeep Wednesday morning and looked at that crack as I started down the road. Its positioned in just a spot where below it is the road and above it was the horizon…the mountains. Quite poetic. You’d think a fine line across the windshield on a long car ride through the mountains would bother me. I actually, honestly like it. Its a sign of imperfection. A sign my Jeep has been places. Up trails and on mountains and in the woods. It has earned the fine lines. Just like me laughing, crying, smiling….has earned me the fine lines on my face.
I am married to a dude who’s brain is shrinking. My grandmother, who I was very close to died last week. I still struggle with the loss of my Dad so tragically. I have a joint disorder that causes pain most of the time. I run my own business. I have two kids who need me. Rely on me. Lets just say the stress level has been above average as of late. In every area of my life. So leaving on a Wednesday to drive solo to the mountains to get away, to hike, to drink beer may seem crazy. And I began to think on my drive. I began to wonder- am I RUNNING AWAY or RUNNING TO? Am I escaping, running, getting away from? Or am I growing, learning, resting, finding some peace on this little trip? And I realized….there’s a very fine line between the two.
The guilt associated with accepting that Im running away, escaping reality, leaving my responsibilities behind is real. Its overwhelming. And I accept it. The glee associated with driving my Jeep into the mountains with no cell service and moose and elk and hiking and beer in a random roadside pub is real too. And I accept it. And I need it. And its selfish and awful to some. And so very necessary for my soul.
There are fine lines that run across my face. They come from YEARS of shit and happiness and joy and laughter and crying and adventure. Theres a fine line running across the windshield on my Jeep. It got there by rocks from some back road trail hitting it…and spreading. When that Jeep took me to some mountain I climbed. There’s a fine line between me loving myself and taking care of myself by going to the mountains where Im happy and being a Mom who’s just running away form all the shitty shit at home. And I accept that too. It is all that it is. I accept the selfish, ugly, childlike, shirking responsibility part of me…..along with the part that is teaching my kids to follow your heart, be who you really are, travel alone, climb mountains, drink beer, don’t be afraid of LIVING LIFE.
There’s just a fine line and a few inches between love and hate, good and bad, adventure and danger, running to and running from….I’ve learned that walking that fine line is the best place to be….for me.
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Nanny

There’s been some hard things Ive had to do in my life. Miscarriages- very late term. Friends’ deaths. Burying my Dad. Getting a Brain Rot diagnosis. But I don’t think there’s ever been anything as difficult as telling my Grandmother that her child died. That child was my Dad. Kids aren’t supposed to die before their parents. They just aren’t. Its un natural. And unfortunately Ive known a few people who’ve lost children way too young. And though my Dad was 53 when he was killed…he was still her child. And telling her that he was dead….just moments after I’d found out myself…it’s just something I’ll never forget. And I’ll always live with. And in that moment of raw, intense grief I thought mostly of my own loss. My Dad died. Way too young. Very violently. And I sat in my grief and felt it so deeply I can’t express. And I regret not knowing in that moment that the loss I felt…however deep and intense…could not compare to hers.
There is no loss greater than that of a child. None.
Allie Christeen Griffin was born in Denton, Texas in 1926. On a farm. Her father died when she was 5 years old in a logging accident. Her mother died when she was 18 of cancer. She was an orphan at 18. I cannot even imagine. She went on to get a job in Denton where she’d meet my grandfather, fall in love, have a very long marriage and 2 kids. She helped raise me. When my super young parents had me they had to work. So she kept me several days a week. She made me cookies and taught me to sew and read to me and took walks with me. I was an only grandchild for 6 years so I was a bit spoiled. And unbelievably lucky to live so near all of my grandparents.
She helped me buy my first car. She told me to go away for college. Her & Pawpa told me how unbelievably important an education was. And helped pay for that too. Not enough words for how grateful I am for that. When my heart broke, she came to see me at college with my Mom. She was at my High School graduation. She was at my college graduation. She was at every football and basketball game I cheered at. She made me dresses and hemmed many a prom dress for me. She made a quilt out of my college sorority t-shirts. She got to see my babies grow up. She was my Nanny. I love her. She is who I am built like. Physically.
She is with Pawpa & Dad now. The pain I’ve felt since losing my Dad is immeasurable. So thinking of how her heart has been broken for the last decade makes me sad. My Dad loved her. I loved her. I always will. And be grateful for it all.
When my Pawpa was dying of cancer she was at his bedside and he was laying there with one eye open. She asked him to please sleep and close his eyes. He said he needed to keep at least one eye on her because she was pretty & might get away. Once in awhile the fates get it right. Fate got it right with them. I am sad. But my heart is full of gratitude for being blessed with such an amazing grandmother. And an amazing example. Just like my Dad often did- she told me she was proud of me. And THAT..…….is everything.
She gave me her old jewelry box full of costume jewelry YEARS ago. It smells like her when I open it. I wear the jewelry…often. I think I’ll wear it more often now.
Love you, Nanny. Peace for you now.
This song has always reminded me of you- now it is quite fitting….
“You greet another son, you lose another one
On some sunny day and always stay, Mary”
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