Hour and a Half Shy

I went to work the following day. I got up at six-thirty in the morning like I always did, I solemnly dressed myself and I hopped on the Manhattan bound subway en route to 5th avenue and 36th street. I’m fairly certain, if my memory doesn’t fail me, I ate breakfast and I had my coffee just like every other normal work morning.

The thing about this particular morning four years ago, however, was that I was in mourning. My dad had died, taken his last breath, a mere ten hours prior to the eerie conduction of my daily routines. I couldn’t think of a better plan than to do exactly what I normally would have done if my dad was still alive, had there not just been a death in my family. Or perhaps, the fact was that I wasn’t thinking about much else at all – I was just simply going through the motions per se.

The interesting and for lack of better words, inconvenient, thing about death is that even if it’s fairly expected, there is no guidebook that explains the aftermath, the whole stimulus-response outcome. It’s not like cancer, for example. I vividly recall sitting in the waiting room of the Kansas City Cancer Center reading extensive, informational “what to expect” and “how to cope” literature for those diagnosed and their loved ones while my dad received radiation on his brain where a tumor was vigorously attacking his cerebellum. There’s a stimulus – chemotherapy can cause nausea and there’s a response – eat these types of foods to minimize the side effects of this toxicity being pumped into your veins.

I get it – everyone handles death differently. No loss is the same – yada yada yada. But wouldn’t it be fucking nice to have a pamphlet handed to you when shit like this occurs? Your father has passed away. Here is how you deal: insert short list of socially acceptable and permanently relieving responses to the death of a parent.

I know I sound like a sarcastic jackass but I suppose this could be deemed my socially unacceptable, temporarily relieving response to this fucking day that I have experienced every fucking April now for the past four, fucking years. And my over usage of the f-word is my momentary release of anger that motivates me to write this and to get up and go to work in the morning after my dad dies and every day after that and every year after that.

I miss him. I really do. We may have not had the best relationship by any definition of the word but I think that’s part of the reason why I miss him so goddamned much. I believe we could have had a better relationship if he’d had more time on this Earth. But time is a fucking motherfucker – it’s a mind fuck of an illusion and one of the many reasons why a day doesn’t pass where thoughts of mortality do not cross my mind, where I don’t mull over the philosophy of life and death.

I can deduce all of the above to everything happening for a reason and in doing so, I can tell you that one of the most valuable lessons I learned from all of it is to never use, “There’s always tomorrow” or “This can wait” or any other variation of time-related expressions because quite frankly, there may not be a tomorrow and what are we waiting for exactly?

I wonder if my dad thought or said aloud that Sunday, April 10th in 2011, “I can take care of this tomorrow.” He, unfortunately, didn’t have a tomorrow. In fact, he was about an hour and a half shy of another tomorrow. If we’re inevitably going to utilize time as a deciding factor in our lives and in our actions, then we should use it as if we’re all going to be an hour and a half shy of another tomorrow.

Rest in Peace, Dad. I love you.

Rest in Peace, Dad. I love you.

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It’s Suicide

I fear I’m killing myself with stress and anxiety,” I anxiously confessed to my therapist this past Saturday.

And I’ve been avoiding this – the writing, the grief – all of it. I’ve been dodging the question, “Are you going to do anything for your mom’s birthday” which is tomorrow, April 8th – her would-be 60th. This time of the year just happens to be one of those times, like the holidays, that I would much rather curl up in the fetal position, underneath the covers of my comfy bed and pass the fuck out. Don’t wake me until the end of May. Nah, better yet, make it June just to be safe.

Dates and times have this uncanny significance and strong connection in our minds. I’ll ask myself why I’m feeling so down, why I’m depressed for seemingly “no reason” and then I’ll recall that my mama’s birthday is Wednesday, the same day my nonna passed away three years ago and this Friday, the 10th, will mark four years since I lost my dad to his two year battle with lung cancer.

Alas, I cannot just sleep through these types of things but what I can do is practice the art of avoidance, of distraction. Unfortunately and fortunately, depending on which perspective you are looking from, I’ve become very good at it. So good, in fact, I’ve been lying to myself and to you, my readers, for quite some time. By no means was this lie intentional but it has come to my attention that I have not been grieving after all and this is unfortunate.

My heightened ability to distract myself has resulted in sudden anxiety attacks at the most inopportune times – not that there’s ever an opportune moment to suffer an anxiety attack. They’re highly unpleasant to put it mildly. I’m not going to delve into the nitty-gritty details of these attacks but suffice it to say that the inner self-work I am conducting on a daily basis is about to be taken to the next level with the hopes and the goal that I can find some relief.

One of the ways in which I avoid and justify my lack of grieving is by asking myself and others, “What’s the point?” If I really took the time and endeavored to answer that question, I reckon I’d discover a very large point, perhaps several large points, but as of right now, it is all too painful. Baby steps, I suppose? I place a question mark there because I’m clueless right now – I don’t know what it’s going to take.

Almost four years ago, I lost the most important person in my life. I can’t even do much more describing of her than that – the most important person in my life. Yes, it is true but there’s so much more to her and yes, I’m speaking in present tense because just because her body is gone doesn’t mean her impression and her extraordinary contributions to this world and those around her are gone. And as I’m typing this, I’m getting angry and as I’m describing to you in the present moment my very emotions, I feel like a scared little girl who wants to run and hide in her fucking closet from the boogie man, the monsters under the bed – from grief.

And the self-coaching continues – that was good, Linds. Let it out. But is it really good? Is it really as simple as stating how goddamned angry I am because I can’t pick up the phone tomorrow and wish my mother a happy 60th birthday or send her a birthday card via snail mail? She used to write me all the time when I first moved away to college. I did the same. I can recall being in sketching class, writing my mama a four-page letter rather than sketching the latest Vogue magazine cover girl. Perhaps that’s why I suck at it so bad and resorted to a career using the computer instead of the pencil.

There ya go, Linds – you’re reminiscing. You’re conjuring up a lovely memory, one that you haven’t thought of in quite some time, the inner voice continues.

I’m still completely ignorant as to how to healthily mourn the loss of my mother without feeling like I’m going to stop breathing, like my heart has literally been ripped from my chest by the boogie man since I didn’t really believe in the whole monsters under the bed BS. As I typed the word, “healthily” in reference to mourning, I wondered if there really is a healthy manner in which to mourn? Some, including myself, might even argue that self-medicating isn’t necessarily healthy but it sure as shit helps at times. *See WINE

So, there ya have it – I lied. I’ve just been putting one foot in front of the other asking the world and myself along the way, “What’s the point?” Living my life as an orphan who is too prideful and too untrusting to ask for help when she needs it, I’ve adapted to a life with so much to look forward to, so much too painful to look back at and an unsettling present that constantly feels like it’s missing something. I’ve adapted to always expecting the worst and to not being fazed if and when the worst commences because, “What’s the point?” After all, life’s too short – There’s no time to be debilitated by grief.

I think the crucial part that I’ve been missing in this whole avoidance of grief’s burden, however, is that it will eventually catch up to me and unless I allow it to take its natural course and learn how to manage it, I will continue to commit a very slow suicide.

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Unconscious Choices and Lessons in Loss

His rigid, expression stared down at the paper in front of him as his signature fluidly made its way into each blank space where it was needed. The unfamiliar scent of his heavy cologne wafted into my nostrils as niceties were traded and small talk was thankfully avoided. Any amount of pleasantries probably would have triggered my inevitable anger. David and I hadn’t seen each other in almost a year and I’m pretty certain I can speak for both of us when I state that this wasn’t exactly a meet up either of us were looking forward to.

The fifteen-minute exchange was all business this past Saturday morning at a valley Coffee Bean as I informed David on the status of our divorce while obtaining his signature in all of the necessary places. Eye contact was easily kept to the bare minimum what with the numerous pages of legal paperwork on the table in front of us. As he filled in all of his information, I found myself willfully introspecting.

Here was this person in front of me, whom I had once been in love with, whom I had married and planned on spending the rest of my life with and now who was, essentially, a complete stranger. I pondered the possibility that maybe there was still a part of that David in there just as maybe there was still a part of the Lindsay he once loved in me. Perhaps the most interesting part of it all is the complete lack of love I feel for him now, that even though I was assessing these things, it wasn’t because I was hoping to somehow feel that again, but simply because human behavior, the psyche, the heart and the mind all intrigue me on such a profound level. I am constantly wondering what, why, when, where and how.

And just to keep things completely honest, I may not be in love with David nor do I even love him anymore but I am compassionate. I feel my own and others’ emotions so deeply that I couldn’t possibly pretend I didn’t spend three plus years of my life with this human being. It was absolutely fascinating to me that after years of good and bad experiences, joys, struggles, tragedies – life – that once significant relationship can straightforwardly be deduced to fifteen swift minutes of a Spring morning at a chain coffee shop. Fascinating – and rather, sad.

Furthermore, what was of particular interest to me was that the life-changing and recent realization I came to did not cross my mind while sitting mere inches away from David until after we had departed ways. Just a few short weeks ago, I had what I deem, for lack of better terms, a breakthrough during the course of my weekly therapy. It was brought to my unexpected attention that I unconsciously chose David because I was going to need someone, a grand distraction, from the tragic loss that would soon beget my existence. Dealing with the manic ups and downs of my relationship and “taking care” of someone else allowed me no time to face the overwhelming grief of losing my mother.

As this understanding came to fruition, I began to laugh, and not just a mere chuckle, I was cracking up. The unfathomable sense of it all moved me to extreme humor. It reminded me of a conversation between David and I after the decision was made to end our marriage. He attempted to degrade our matrimony by unconvincingly stating, “I married you because I thought it was the right thing to do, the next step.” I knew this wasn’t true but had I known then what I know now, I probably would have responded with, “Well, I only chose you because your fucked-up-ness was a colossal, necessary distraction from the death of my mother.” Sounds revengeful and cruel when I put it like that but it truly has been one of the most liberating realizations to date and it has truly allowed me to place David in his proper place of my past.

All of that aside, I infer that the above doesn’t negate the fact that I did love him and I sincerely cared. I think that’s where my head was while I anxiously sat across from him this past Saturday, contemplating all the loss and all that has changed for the better, feeling an impenetrable sense of compassion, primarily for myself. As my therapist noted after my ‘breakthrough,’ “Grief isn’t easy, Lindsay, and sometimes, I don’t think we give you enough credit.”

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A Little Bit of My Dark

My dad’s 61st birthday was a little over a week ago and in the event that you’re just joining the Righteous Revival community (welcome!), he wasn’t here to sing happy birthday to or to blow out any candles. My dad is in that ever so speculated upon, heavily debated place knows as the after life or Heaven or bluntly put, dead.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed the simultaneous shock upon peoples’ faces after I’ve been interrogated about the whereabouts of my parents and my usage of the word, “dead,” escapes my mouth. I don’t use it for the shock value by any means – it’s just what resonates with me more often than “passed away” or “gone home” or any other variation that describes the end of someone’s life.

There are times when I make morbid jokes like the time I shipped my mama’s ashes via FedEx to California from New York and I called my friend, Claudia, to let her know that my mother would be arriving at her doorstep in T minus 4 hours. I sincerely hope you laughed just now or at least chuckled – Claudia thankfully did and even threw in her own addition to the morose quip. It’s how I cope with the otherwise debilitating anger and sadness that can become suffocating if I don’t incorporate at least an ounce of humor into my everyday life which is parentless and has been for the last three and a half years.

I am reminded on a daily basis that I will never celebrate another birthday with either of my parents or mail another Christmas card to either of their addresses. If I have children one day, I will not share in the foretold immense joy of parenthood with either of them– there will never be that shining moment of prideful grandparents that many have the pleasure of basking in. I am constantly reminded of this every waking and, sometimes, sleeping moment of my life and making light of this uncontrollable situation is a necessary means of my emotional survival.

Death has become a familiar part of my thirty years of existence. I often speak openly and freely about my own future departure, utilizing dark humor to decorate the otherwise uncomfortable subject.

“I want “Another one Bites the Dust” to be a part of the soundtrack at my memorial,” I laughingly joke and this is often followed up by an uneven amount of mutual chuckles, I-can’t-believe-you-just-said-that gasps, and worried expressions upon the faces of unwarned ears.

Being on the receiving end of these looks is often a cue of how unfair and unusual it is to find oneself cozying up to end of life ideas as if it is somehow natural, as if the fear is nonexistent and I somehow find comfort in death’s certainty.

If my dad and I could have some more time together, I would ask him what he found comfort in, if anything, during his last few days. I would ask him what he feared, not only at the end of his life but during the majority of his life. Fear, security, vulnerability, means of survival – those four things would be the basis for some epic getting-to-know-you conversations. Who knows? Maybe one day, I’ll be granted that opportunity.

Until then, I’ll be gentler with myself, knowing that fear is inevitable but it can be managed, it can be lived with. And by live, I sincerely mean living, consciously, absolutely. A lesson I am aggressively learning currently is that being vulnerable does not mean being weak. When vulnerability is active, the fears have a way of thriving but that fear can be managed. One of the quickest ways to managing that fear is allowing oneself to be vulnerable, to be human and opening yourself to acknowledging those fears – where they come from, what they mean, for when one is vulnerable, one can be deeply and wholly honest with him or herself.

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What Are You Doing with All Your Dark?

I always tread lightly when addressing sensitive subjects such as grief. My intent is never to come off as a pretentious know-it-all as everyone grieves differently. There may be a “model” for the steps of grieving, but no individual grieves in the same pattern or manner as the next individual.

In fact, I’m so often ridden with anxiety regarding the subjects in which I write about that after I post such material, the minutes, hours and sometimes days following are filled with inner turmoil. I ask myself, “Should I have posted that?” “Should I change this? Edit that?” “Should I just delete the whole damn thing all together?” The inner inquisition marches on, infiltrating my slumber and testing my motive to move forward, to write on, if you will.

For those whom this appears as an easy task, one that comes naturally, it is, in fact, not. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve had an inherent inclination to share my personal life from a very young age, perhaps its purpose being solidified in my senior year sociology class when Mr. Johnson, whom to this day remains one of my favorite and most memorable teachers, asked the class if anyone would be willing to volunteer to be a part of a panel of students speaking on an extremely serious, personal subject matter. This panel consisted of a group of teenagers, including myself, who were all too familiar with various forms of addiction.

What ensued following my willingness to volunteer was an unfortunate and deeper wedge placed smack dab in the middle of my brother and I for the simple fact that he found my allocation of such intimate matters to be, for lack of better terms, wrong. What I gratefully gained from doing so was the realization that sharing some of the darkest corners of my already dusty life would develop into a habit that would serve not only as a form of therapy for myself but for others, as well.

I recently came across this beautiful thought by the talented writer, Amanda Torroni. It asked, “What are you going to do with all that dark?” And it answered, “Find a way to glow in it.” What a simple but profound thing to ask ourselves and I couldn’t have answered it better. I found a way to glow in it in the fall of 2002 in Mr. Johnson’s sociology class.

Amanda Torroni

Amanda Torroni

I told myself that as humans, we never know what the stranger in the back of the room or the new friend we meet in biology class is experiencing and these people may not have the know-how or desire to vocalize such personal details of their private lives. My having the ability to do so means someone will be able to relate and thus feel a little less alone and perhaps gain a little more courage and hope.

Twelve years later, here I am –still glowing in the darkness, still sharing on what I aspire to be a continually grander scale and still hoping with quite a few more life experiences to introspect upon. As for the divide between my brother and I it will always remain and not just because of my readiness to open up about our dad’s drug addiction to the masses. At least there’s a whole hell of a lot more acceptance and understanding that we’re two entirely different people with different dreams, goals and perspectives. We grieve differently, glowing in our own unique ways within what sometimes feels as a perpetual darkness.

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The Price We Pay for Love

My world seems to be on one of those dimmer switches. Every time I lose someone I love, my surroundings appear a little darker, my thoughts a little more sinister and my reality a little more, well, real. This isn’t me being negative or glass half empty though I can understand where one may come to that conclusion. I’m simply just trying to explain via analogy what so many of us have experienced – the pain and price of loving someone.

Through years of weekly therapy sessions and constant self-analysis, it finally registered: Grieving is not easy and we don’t just do it like Nike. In fact, many of us, including myself, find ways to avoid doing it whether we’re conscious of our evasion or not. I think I must have had this idealization that grieving was like sitting down at our dining table with a cup of coffee at a scheduled time and saying, “On your mark, get set, go! Grieve away. Cry. Let it out.” And then it’s over. Instead of a dimmer, I’m talking about a light switch now. Grief on. Grief off. This is the self-control freak in me speaking.

If only it were that easy, which leads me to my next recognition and that is that grief doesn’t really end. The anguish that correlates with the process may lessen and become more bearable but grief doesn’t actually have an ending point. We don’t wake up one day and suddenly never ever feel the grief again. We may not feel it as often but with the loss of deep and meaningful relationships based in love comes deep, meaningful and lifelong grief. It is, after all, the price we pay for love.

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In Memory of My Buddy, Ali Dellevas

Take me,” I often find myself bargaining loudly in my head every time someone dear to my heart has untimely, unfairly been taken from this world by that ugly six-letter-word: cancer. And I say “every time” because it, unfortunately, has been quite a few times and one, in my opinion, was one too many.

The bargaining swiftly turns into unequivocal anger, then some degree of shock, then back to the bargaining, “Take me this time, instead, you bastard,” anthropomorphizing the disease as if it bares ears that can hear my useless plea, a heart that can fathom compassion and the control to alter the circumstances, to take me instead of the good ones it seems to never spare.

Yesterday morning was no different.

Ali died this morning, dude,” our close, mutual friend, Amanda uttered over the telephone line from thousands of miles away.

No, no, no, no, no…” was all I could repeat as my knees hit the ground, the tears began and I curled into a ball. I may have said this before but it’s interesting that “no” is probably the first word many of us learn as wee ones and the first word that escapes our mouths when being informed of the devastating loss of a loved one.

As babies, we say “no” because we hear it so often and it is often associated with conditions in which we find contrary to what our simple minds desire in that moment.

But I don’t wanna go to bed.

I want to put the small object in my mouth.

I want to play with the crystal glassware left on the coffee table.

And it’s really no different as an adult. Our vocabulary has hopefully expanded into a book’s worth of words but “no” is still the go-to because once again, we are presented with a reality out of our control and for lack of better terms, unpleasant. We only wish it involved our sleep patterns, small, material objects or expensive drink-ware.

I’m not ashamed to admit that there were certainly a few emphasized “fucks” thrown in between my “no’s.” My buddy, as we so often lovingly referred to one another, had a potty mouth of her own. If I didn’t angrily shout my favorite f-word a few times, I would probably have disappointed her. On August 21st of 2012, she accurately tagged me on Facebook in this funny e-card.

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Infectious was Ali’s laugh. It was the kind of laugh that engaged, that was easily recognizable in a room full of people and when you heard it you couldn’t help but smile or even laugh with her, even if you had no idea what was so funny. I heard that laugh today, in my head, as I despondently walked to lunch and with every reason not to be smiling, I smiled. I like to think that it’s her way of letting us all know that she’s okay, that she’s in a better place as the adage goes; A place free of suffering and pain where she can laugh, carefree. Furthermore, I like to think she’s sharing that wonderful charisma of hers with my beautiful mama and they’re keeping each other good company wherever it is that we may go after this life.

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Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 6.48.23 PMShe had an enchanting smile to go along with that compelling laugh, an inspiring, positive outlook no matter the obstacle thrown her way and enough compassion to ignite a fire in even the most merciless heart. Her love for family, friends, Channing Tatum and the usage of the word “heffa” were strikingly evident. Her very presence alone was electrifying. If Ali was in the room you best believe it was happily known.

Those who know me well know that the two years I spent in New York City were unfortunately the two most dismal years I have experienced in my thirty years of existence. Aside from the onslaught of homesickness and relationship woes, I lost both of my parents within four months of one another to lung cancer. My mama was my best friend. I wasn’t much for socializing to say the least and everything frequently appeared glum, miserable from my perspective. On the outside, I may have been smiling but on the inside, I was the lead star in my own personal hell and New York City happened to be the hopeless setting.

My mama always reiterated that if we don’t have hope, we don’t have anything. I would say that my train rides home to Brooklyn with Ali and my hour lunches with her at “Fuck and Spoon” as Ali and I so aptly called it for its outrageous prices were lifesaving. Here was this beautiful, young vibrant spitfire of a woman, unfortunately diagnosed with cancer, still cracking jokes, still laughing that delightful laugh, still fighting, still loving life. If that couldn’t whip shit into perspective for me, I’m not sure what could have. She was the very definition of hope.

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There are several quotes about surrounding oneself with positive people, ridding one’s life of toxicity and so forth and whenever I would come across these, I would do an inventory of the people I keep around me. Ali was always at the top of the list of those who enriched my life with their contagiously optimistic attitude, of those whom I wished to keep near and dear for their uplifting contribution to my existence.

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As I continue to write with a heavy, broken heart, I just keep thinking, “I’m not doing her justice. This isn’t good enough.” I’ve been at quite the loss for words the past couple of days but I sincerely have given this my best. If the untimely loss of Ali has taught us one thing, let it be that time is an illusion. There is no such thing. Right now – that is the only thing that is real and right now, we must be strong and fearless and do the things that excite our soul, that breathe life into our veins and make the right now a better place for others just as Ali made each and every one of our right nows a better place.

Her family and closest friends will continue to be in my thoughts and in my prayers. No parent should ever have to bury his or her child and for all of our sakes, I hope that one day when we go to the paradise where Ali has gone, it will all make perfect sense. In the meantime, fuck cancer.

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I’ll never forget you, my buddy. Rest in peace. Seahorses foreva.

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#FuckCancer

Lindsay Taylor:

This would be my first and well-deserved reblog. Please help spread the word, if nothing more than a share of Ali’s story. Every little thing helps.

Originally posted on A Righteous Revival:

The after work, evening commute in New York City is even more drab and dreary than the morning one and going it alone can quickly turn into a frustrating, elbow-rubbing, unpleasant smelling, anxiety-inducing experience; one where vying for a place to rest ones ass can go from an awkward “after you,” “no, after you” to the shorter equivalent of a 100 yard dash competition. And then of course, one might weigh the pros and cons of the empty seat – Is it a middle seat or a side seat? Is it by the exit or in the middle of the train, furthest from mass transportation freedom as possible?

On one hand, you can rest your tush whilst having the sleepiest stranger to your right dozing off on your shoulder or the asshole to your left practicing his latest spreading techniques (in case you do not know…

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#FuckCancer

The after work, evening commute in New York City is even more drab and dreary than the morning one and going it alone can quickly turn into a frustrating, elbow-rubbing, unpleasant smelling, anxiety-inducing experience; one where vying for a place to rest ones ass can go from an awkward “after you,” “no, after you” to the shorter equivalent of a 100 yard dash competition. And then of course, one might weigh the pros and cons of the empty seat – Is it a middle seat or a side seat? Is it by the exit or in the middle of the train, furthest from mass transportation freedom as possible?

On one hand, you can rest your tush whilst having the sleepiest stranger to your right dozing off on your shoulder or the asshole to your left practicing his latest spreading techniques (in case you do not know what this is, feel free to click on the link above) and on the other hand, you can stand but you better move the hell out of the way approximately thirty seconds before each stop because the elderly woman sitting in front of you just has to inch her way to the exit doors in order to be first off the train.

What has the ability to brighten this five-day commute and ease the disadvantages of riding the New York City subway between the hours of five and eight p.m. is having a riding buddy. I was fortunate enough to have that during my time on the east coast. This woman was not only a riding buddy but a Brooklyn bred, Italiana firecracker with a mouth of a sailor and a heart of gold. Her name is Ali. We worked together at a fashion jewelry company on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan’s midtown district and we both happened to take the same subway line back to Brooklyn.

I’m uncertain of whether or not Ali knows just how much her presence and friendship meant to me and still does today but the purpose of this blog is to not only express that appreciation but to ask you, my readers, for your help this holiday season. Ali has been battling a rare form of stage three ovarian cancer for three years and is presently in the hospital fighting pneumonia with other severe health complications brought on by this horrific disease.  Doctors are currently at a loss as far as further treatment.

I’ll never forget the night this despairing news came to fruition, when my fun-loving, exceptionally strong, spirited and young friend was diagnosed just months after my best friend, my mama, passed away from stage four metastatic lung cancer.  Ali and I immediately formed a common bond if we hadn’t already had several and despite her own, personal struggles, she continued to be an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on but more importantly someone who “got it,” and on those seemingly long ass commutes home, her presence was life saving. Her sense of humor never ceased to exist and her contagious laugh, everlasting.

I couldn’t possibly place my gratitude into the proper words; I can only hope that I provided Ali with some amount of solace in return. I will do my best to help her and her family in any way that I possibly can and right now, that means reaching their goal of $20,000 via the link http://www.gofundme.com/letusrallyforali

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Please take a brief moment to click on the link and read her heartbreaking story. Every little bit truly helps and this is one story that deserves a happy ending. Ali recently wrote via her Facebook that she is “overwhelmed by all the love and support from everyone,” that it truly astonished her. To that I respond, and I know so many will agree, I am not surprised one bit by the outpouring of support. If she remotely touched others’ lives in the way that she managed to touch mine, it is not surprising in the least bit.

Seahorses forever!  Love you, buddy. #FUCKCANCER

Twinsies 4 the day!

My Buddy, Ali, and I

 

 

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Sundown, Moon Rise

I once laid in bed with death, right next to it – our skins touching, my body’s warmth to its eerie absent-like coolness and my weary head upon its betraying shoulder. I managed to whisper a few nonsensical words to its deaf ears and shed a few tears in its unwelcome and untimely presence. I once vowed my life – the one I’m living right now – for better or for worse, in sickness and in health to another living, breathing human being in the attendance of other living, breathing human beings. I once allowed death to fool me into longing for its bittersweet company but I’m still living that life. I no longer vow it to anyone – not another human being, not even death – only my self.

I just want something to last longer than I, I thought to myself as I stepped into the hot, steaming shower after a dragging, long day at work. This thought wasn’t random nor was it shocking – sad, definitely but not surprising that I would think something as such. On the surface, it seems like a legit, understandable yearning but once you dig a little deeper, into its core, you realize that there is so much emotion and experience balled up into those nine little words.

If I were to dig a little deeper, I would explain that I want something of substance to last longer than myself – a friendship, a relationship, and hell – my good moods! I want to become of death before someone else I love dearly dies again. I want this man, this relationship, and this time to be it. I want to just share the rest of my days with one person, without a shadow of a doubt, through the good times and the bad. I don’t need the paper, the ring, none of it – just the quality.

If I were to continue digging, I would tell you that these admissions terrify the living hell out of me and yes there is a living hell inside of me. I would go on to tell you that I don’t believe in forever. I don’t believe that there is one person for anyone. I don’t believe in marriage. I do believe in death and flaws and disappointment. I believe in temporary relationships that unexpectedly venture beyond the platonic level.

This isn’t to say that I don’t want to believe in the above because I most certainly do and there was a point in my life that I actually did that now seems like forever ago– ha! No pun intended, but after the almost three decades of life that I have under my belt, I have learned how to “protect” myself by expecting the absolute worse – death in all of its various forms. By believing it possible to prepare for the worst, the devastating blow won’t be as devastating, right? I know I’m wrong but I’ve got about thirty years of experiences to unlearn. Please, do, wish me luck, though honestly, I don’t believe in luck. Pray?

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