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Mabon

October 6, 2008

I’ve been wanting to write about Mabon since, well, since Mabon!  This is the hardest turning of the Wheel for me, the one that I feel might just roll over me.  Mabon is the Second Harvest, the second chance to gather that which has been planted.  And after Mabon, there is only Samhain, the Final Harvest, the time of honoring that which has passed away as well as preparing for the New Year, the time to set intentions for that which will be planted in the coming year.  I’d like to just breeze right through Mabon, cruise along straight to Samhain, but that isn’t how the Wheel turns for me.

 

In other parts of the country, Mabon is the start of Fall.  Leaves are changing colors and animals are scurrying around beginning preparations for Winter.  The air is cooler and beginning to be crisp.   This is a time of gathering, an opportunity to share the bounty with others who have no bounty of their own.  In the time of the Celts, Mabon was a time of sharing within the village.  Sometimes it feels as though I can see and hear them, those Celtic ancestors.  I can see them offering the grain to the Deities in hopes that all the crops would be safely gathered to be stored for Winter.  I can see them having a Thanksgiving feast, each family bringing what they could and offering it to the village.  I can feel the fear..what if there is not enough to last throughout the winter?  What if the plants are not healthy, the ground not ready when spring comes again?  What if this the Winter when Deity does not guard and protect? 

Mabon, being the Second Harvest, is the time that I am confronted by all that I have planted, and all that I intended to plant but just didn’t get around to doing.  (By planting, I mean creating in my life.  I’m the only “black thumbed” Witch that I know, but I can’t even sustain dandelions!)  Sometimes, during the hot summer days when it feels as if Mabon will never really come, it is easy for me to become lazy.  It is easy for me to say that there will be enough time tomorrow to finish the things that I have started.  It is easy to give in to spiritual lethargy.  Mabon, for me, is the season of reckoning.  I know that the life that I have, the situations that I find myself in are exactly those things that I have created for myself, either intentionally or because of having no intentions at all.  Those things that frustrate me, those things that break my heart, those things that make me feel small and afraid, those are all seeds that I have planted in this garden of my life.  Maybe some have been planted through my carelessness…I left the garden untended and unwanted things snuck in.  But still…whose job is it to guard the fertile soil of my heart and mind?  This is (for me) a Path of ultimate responsibility..I am solely responsible for the condition in which I find myself, I am solely responsible for my growth and development, I am solely responsible for my energy and the energy that I send into the Universe, energy which will come back to me three-fold.  If I’m not happy, it’s my job to fix it.  If I am afraid, it’s my job to walk through the fear and release it.  If I’m broke or sick or lonely, I created it in some way or another.  In other words, only I create the life that I have.  What a joy!  And what a sucky thing sometimes too.

 

The other thing about Mabon that kicks my ass is that I know time is running out, Samhain is just around the corner.  Whatever work I set out to do this year must be done by Oct. 31.  There are some things that I feel are never “completed”, lessons that it takes lifetimes to “master” and so those things don’t “count” when I am thinking of things that are undone for the year.  Self-control, integrity, forgiveness, compassion, unconditional love…those are on-going things, seeds I will always plant in my life.  But what about other “stuff”, intentions I set for this year, to-do lists that just aren’t done?  I feel sometimes like I am being chased by this unfulfilled potential, as if it is a living, breathing monster that will devour me if I cannot master it.  I want to ask for just a little more time, but the Wheel just keeps turning.  I’ve sent time at the altar recently (literally and figuratively) reviewing that magic that I’ve “cooked” this year.  What spells did not manifest?  Which ones DID manifest, but not exactly as I expected?  What spells did I never get set?  And what about things on the mundane level?  Did I accomplish all I set out to do in my professional life? Personal life?  As a parent?  And what about my students?  Did I teach them all I wanted them to learn this year?  Did I support without smothering, tend enough without enabling, guide enough while leaving room for personal experience and expression?  It’s hard to want to do so many things so well, and know that I fall short.  It’s hard for me in this season of Mabon to feel as though my best work is good enough.  It’s hard to know that I have failed at things that matter to me.  It’s hard to believe that I am less of a disappointment to the Momma than I am to myself.   But the Wheel keeps turning and I will try again next year.

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Living, Learning, and Teaching

July 23, 2008

I’m blogging today, not because I really feel that I have something of import about which to write but because I so desperately need this time of just sitting still and reviewing where I am and maybe where I am going.

 

My Beloved and I were chatting the other day about her upcoming visit.  She mentioned she would be unable to attend a group that she has joined, a group led by a most amazing man who is her instructor (and one of my favorite people on the planet!!).  When she emailed him about her absence, his response was, “Living is always more important than learning”.  What a brilliant response, especially coming from an educator.  It’s gotten my wheels spinnin’.

 

My formal education, or more accurately, the lack of said education. is a huge source of shame for me, though less now than it was before I met above-mentioned amazing man/professor.  I barely finished tenth grade then got my GED many years later.  Through taking various professional workshops, I managed to get 3 college credits.  I also took a CLEP test and got 2 more English credits for a grand total of 5 college credits.  I have no letters after my name (i.e. PhD. CSW, etc.)  and no formal Degrees even in my spiritual path.  On paper, I’ve learned nothing, know nothing, and have less than nothing to teach.

 

But, boy, have I lived!!  I know homelessness, battered women’s syndrome, the simple joy of a hot bubbly bath, amazement that yet again the sun did rise, abuse and torture, and the sublime bliss that randomly appears (without even the aid of great chemicals!).  I know that ache of abandonment and the joy of true union.  I know what it is to leave and what it is to be left.  And I especially know what it is to live both with and without the Divine.

 

I never meant to be a teacher.  In fact, when a dear friend told me a few years ago (though it feels like a whole lifetime ago) that I would have students, I was adamantly unwilling to even contemplate the idea.  What could I ever teach anyone?  Who would ever listen to, believe, or trust me?  How could I, who felt (and feel still) like an eternal student ever gain enough wisdom about anything to pass it along to anyone??  Yet, teach I do.  I have several students now that are “official” in the sense that they have classes with me every week about various aspects of my spiritual path.  I have a few others in my life that do not have “real” classes with me but do ask for my guidance in their own spiritual journey.  I’m almost ashamed to even say that here, as if I am trying to brag, but truly my intent is just to talk about all of this other “stuff”.  My point in all of that is to say that my greatest learning comes from my students and from my living.

 

My students are among the most amazing people in the world.  They struggle everyday with the concept of making the sacred and the mundane the same…of coming to grips with the idea that every decision is a spiritual decision.  They’ve learned about the Elements and what aspects are of each of them.  They have learned about crystals and herbs and candles and colors and auras and chakras.  They have allowed their ideas about sexuality, gender roles, and Divinity to be challenged, shaken, destroyed, and structured anew.  They have committed to building their spiritual and magical muscles through intentional living and intention and consistent study.  They have all rebuilt their vocabulary and have learned to walk in integrity through even the most trying of circumstances.  Every idea of everything that they have ever held as precious has been analyzed and often discarded for new and foreign ideas that don’t exactly fit the societal norm.  They have been called to a high level of personal responsibility and a fierce ethical standard.  What brave souls they are!  What courage to walk it every day.  What amazing commitment and dedication!  What hard work they all do!!

 

And how they teach me!  I am called to model that which I am teaching.  Every decision that I make is a decision they all want to understand and a decision that must fit the same criteria that I give them for their decisions.  Nothing that I do can be “accidental” or less than totally intentional.  My relationship with the She that I call Momma can never be relationship that is “on the side”.   I must,everyday, make ecstatic love to Her, feel Her making my insides all tingly, hear Her whispering (and sometimes shouting) my name and whatever instructions She has for me next.  I must live my life in Her lap, everyday, all day, even when it sucks.

 

See, I’ve heard about the She that is all sweetness and pink Light, and I even believe that She exists.  That, however, is not the usual face that the Momma shows me.  I get this very large, very exuberant, very brown woman who never tiptoes.  Oh no, my Momma dances and shouts and sings and yells when I “get stupid”.  “Baby, why you gettin’ stupid?  Didn’t I already tell you that such and such a thing is s’posed to go this a-way?” is a sentence that Momma has often yelled in my soul.  She kicks my ass when I get lazy and most of the time when I am sad, She reminds me that it was my own “dumb ass choices” that got me in that place to begin with!  And most of the time, it feels like the more lessons I learn from Her, the more She wants to teach me.

 

I learned to see the Divine as female, learned to value all that is woman, womanly, feminine, and Goddess based and then She asked “Why you ignoring my Man?? Don’t you know that I am not all that I am meant to be when Papa is not here, too??  Don’t you know that Papa makes Me laugh?? Don’t you know I love to get My groove on with that fine ass Papa of yours?  Why you leaving’ Him out in the cold??” So, I had to relearn all about the Divine Masculine.  I had to learn to value Papa kisses (my new phrase for a suntan!) and Papa dances (thunderstorms).  I had to learn what masculine strength, integrity, passion, and love all looked like and then I had to open myself up to receive them in the same way that I learned to receive all that Momma love.

 

I learned all about commitment and loyalty and the value of my marriage.  I learned to want that sense of my husband as my own and then She said. ” Good job, baby.  Now, nothin’ is really yours so it’s time to share.  You think it’s a challenge to be so open to one person, open yourself to two”.  Oh my.  What a challenge that has all been.  So much talking, so many issues to walk through, so many old ideas to challenge and change.  Trust has a whole new meaning to me, as do the words love and commitment and sharing and communication.  Living outside of the societal norms has a new depth and the need to “fit in” is still being worked through.  I’m challenged to share space, share intimacy, and share my children.  I’m sharing time and energy and my body in whole new ways.  Sometimes it feels like I cry through half of everyday and want to sleep through the other half.  And I have no regrets.  And even if I could go back in time and change things, I wouldn’t.  And I have never been so filled with Love and Joy and Light in the capital letters way.

 

So maybe, teaching and living are how I learn.   And maybe the only letters that I need after my name are “Hers”.

Homesickness

April 9, 2008

nI hesitate to post here, as if I am a trespasser in this place that I created, as if I need your permission to be here, your validation..nearly invitation..to take all of these crazy bottled ideas and splash them around in a bubbly frenzy.  And who is this “you” that I so need??  Who knows!

I will post first a warning of sorts.  On occassion, the words that I need to put out here are not pretty or kind, are not filled with Love and Light.  I try hard not to have more of those kinds of days than of the other days..yet today is a “not pretty” kind.  If you are already feeling sad or in the dark, I would recommend that you find a place more filled with Light, a place that is a soothing balm for weary hearts and minds.  As much as I would love to be an instrument of healing for another today, the healing that I will be dishing out today is just for me, a veritable feast of it I hope!

There was a time (it seems like ages ago and yet really it was just a few months!) when I had a place of safety.  It was a place that offered me (in theory) unconditional love and acceptance, a place where all that i am could BE, could be expressed and lived and walked through.   I could rush and run or I could lollygag all day and either extreme (or something in the middle) was okay.  The fact that this place of healing and hope, this “home” was made of zipping and zooming gigabytes and uncomprehensible (to me) internet “stuff” rather than concrete or bricks and mortar never mattered to me, never made that place less real.  It was not a virtual place to me.  It was vital and alive, real and tangible.  For the first time ever, I felt safe and welcomed.  I expressed to those who “lived” with me there that it was difficult for me to allow myself to be totally transparent, totally real.  I explained that if I was truly present there, if I was my whole and real self, I could not afford to have that place taken away..ever.  I was assured that it would be my always home, that no matter what happened it would not leave me and I would never have to leave it.  And yet it is gone.

I would love to be just angry about it.  I would love to feel just enraged and bitter.  But I still just feel devastated, violated, betrayed.  I know that it was folish of me to trust.  I know that I was blinded by my need to be safe, my need to have a place that was truly a soul-home.  I know that in my desperation to find those who could be my soul sisters, I was stupid enough to ignore the truth that most people will betray you at one time or another.

I know that now this sounds like a vile, self-pitying rant.  That really isn’t the intent at all.  I think that the point is to say that my job, my responsibility is to create that safety within myself.  I cannot look for some “out there” place to call home.  If I want to be at home, if I want that feeling of home, then home needs to be a space inside of myself that I carry with me always.  And maybe I need to learn that being violated is never okay, even when it is me violating myself.  Sometimes, I know exactly what I need, exactly what it would take for me to feel okay again.  I have people in my life (thank Goddess and you, my Beloved) that often ask what I need, that want to do or give or be whatever would be most helpful, most healing to me and for me in that moment, and yet often I ask for nothing.  It’s as though somewhere within myself, I would rather violate myself than risk offending those that I love.  The thing that I miss most about that place that was home was a rule that we had there, a boundary.   Most of the time, all of the words and thoughts that we expressed were “fair game”….others could contest them, challenge them, counter them, and flat out rant and rave against them.  But there was a certain place, a “room” if you will, that the only things that could be said in response to whatever was expressed were things like “I’m here with you”, “I love you”, “You are being very brave to walk through this and you need not walk alone”.   That is what I miss the most, that way to say to another, ” I just need you to sit here with me.  What I am expereincing right now really sucks and soon I will do the work that is required so that I may heal from this and be more whole.  But right now, I just need to be where I am and I need not to have to be here by myself.  Please do not try to fix me, do not try to make this go away, do not invalidate that it really sucks….just sit here with me in this pain until I am ready to work through it.”   And I could say all of that without having to say it at all.  And when I asked for those things, I got them and there was no judgement.

So today I am homesick for that home that was not a home.  Today I miss those sisters that are not sisters.  Today I sit alone with these injuries, old and new.  But at least today I have a voice again.

What is being lost?

January 8, 2008

So, I’ve already said that I am transitioning again (still?) and that it is a huge change.  It seems to me that even the change is changing, becoming both more and less of what I expected it to be.  And it seems that, in the changing, some things are being lost.

I know deeply that change is cyclical that, indeed, life and all of its myriad complexities is cyclical.  I know that the earth changes in cycles, that my body functions in various cycles, that magic and and relationships and energies all seem to run in cycles.  I deeply feel the Birth, Death, and Rebirth cycle.   It seems to me now that the cycle of Birth, Death and Rebirth sometimes happens all at once rather than in an orderly fashion.  It feels that new things are being born in the same moment that old things are dying.  As I sit in all of this transitioning, it seems important to me to attempt to see more clearly what things exactly are dying off now, to try to allow myself to choose to grieve for the lost things as I also celebrate the new things that are coming.  But what is it really that I am mourning?

Certainly one of the biggest pieces that is bringing me great grief is the apparent death of a friendship that I value highly.  I’ve never been one to have a great number of friends.  My way of thinking and my way of being in the world is odd to most people and the strange way I have of seeing things is hard for most people to follow.  I have very little patience for small talk and silliness.  I’ve learned a little bit of how to play but it is still not my most common way of being.  In person, it takes me awhile to chase a thought down to its root so a conversation with me can be frustrating as it seems to ramble forever before I find its point.  I justify myself often and hear myself say “What I really mean is…” more often than not.   It seems that I have a story to match any topic and I struggle not to “take over” a conversation sometimes and to allow others their own stories without interjecting my own.   Often, I slip into childlike wonder over the simplest things and, if you don’t know me well, it can seem contrived.  (In all reality, the wonder is real.  So many “common” things are brand new to me and I see Her hand in almost everything.)   Also, my mind now processes everything as energy more than substance so those around me are always having to hear about the energy of something, what it looks and feels like more than what it is.  And everything (really…everything!) gets broken down to its elemental components and I tend to play with magic everywhere, all the time (ever been to a hibachi restaurant with a Witch?  So many things to play with!!).  So, I know that I am not the easiest person to be friends with.  Because I know this, I don’t often try to make friends and I can count on one hand the number of people that I would label as friend and most of those are people that exist here, in cyber-land.  To lose a friend is devastating.  To lose one that I call “sister” is more heartbreaking than I can express in words.  It is a death of a piece of my soul, a loss of a piece of me when I can ill-afford more lost pieces of myself.   It rattles my foundation and leaves me feeling like I do not know how to walk through this.  It feels like I am alone now in a way that I was not before.  I had grown familiar with that sense of being protected, of having my softest most raw parts shielded by people who love me.  And now those parts are no longer shielded and instead are uncovered and raw to the world.  Quite an unpleasant feeling and one that leaves me chilled and afraid. 

That is not all that seems to be dying now, that friendship that I need so desperately.   My sense of security is also dying off now.  Nothing feels certain to me, no path seems clear and illuminated.   My feeling of having a place to rest and be safe is gone.  It feels now like I must always be on guard, always be protected. always be shielded..magically and emotionally.  Grounding and shielding seem to be the first two skills that every Witch must learn and it feels to me that the more experienced you are, the more you must shield and ground.  It seems to me that I am spending a great deal of time this days running to the lap of the Mother and asking Her to wrap Herself around me, to walk me through the world.   I knew before that feeling secure was important to me, knew that I needed to know that I am safe before I could even give a thought to growing more or learning.  But now it seems Momma is making it clear that I must grow the most when I feel the least stable and settled.  It feels that all of those things that I have counted on are being stripped away, one by one, until all that is left is She and me.

The ironic thing is that Fear is the other thing that is dying.  How can I be afraid now?  What is left to lose?  My old Self is no more, my place of rest and safety is gone, my relationship is definitely different than it has ever  been, my job situation is up in the air, we may be moving to a whole new city, my familiar patterns of dealing with life are no longer effective….all I have left that I know for sure is not leaving is Her.  My only option is to work through all of this with Her and trust that She knows what She is doing.  And ever our relationship is different.

Have you ever stood outside, looked up at the Moon and screamed “F**k you, Momma!”?  I have, often in the last few days.  Have you ever told Her that She is being mean and dumb?  I have.  Have you told Her that you question whether or not She really knows what She’s doing and what She is asking you to do?  Yep..been there, done that.  The most amazing thing is that two minutes after screaming at Her, She picks me up and holds me close.  And I swear that She laughs at me.  She seems to be saying that I am finally “getting it”.  How can I say that I have true relationship with Her if things are always rosy sunshine between us?  How can I say that She is my Mother if I am never angry with Her?  How can I say that She and I are One if I always censor myself with Her, offer only my best to Her?

In these days of dying off, She has never been more alive.  And neither have I.

Back to Basics

December 29, 2007

Mother Wintermoon, one of my favortie blog spots to visit, made reference to a Meme that I just had to check out, one for survivors of abuse that she found at Survivors Can Thrive.  I had to do this one now, in the midst of all that is new and changing, because it is very easy for me to forget to care for myself in the most basic ways, especially when it feels that huge things are happening in the now.   I would invite any who need this, any who wish to affirm their own healing process to visit either Mother Wintermoon’s site for the “I am” needs list or Marj at Survivors Can Thrive for the version that I am using here.

The Survivors Need List:

1. I need to stay with my body and in it.

2. I need to remeber to provide my body with nourishment in the form of food and I need to do that everyday.

3. I need to remember to drink water and receive it as a kiss from the Mother who can love me.

4. I need not to hate myself when I am triggered.

5. I need to stay in the present and see how healthy and happy my children are.

6. I need to sleep.

7. I need to allow myself to connect to those people in my life who love me unconditionally.

8. I need to take the time to practice my spirituality.

9. I need to ground everyday.

10. I need to take the time to pet my kitty and receive the love he gives back to me.

11. I need to feel what I feel and work towards knowing which of those feelings belong to “now” and which belong to “then”.

12. I need to give myself permission to decide which traditions I want to have and which I am ready to discard.

13. I need my pajamas and monster feet slippers.

14. I need time to curl up in my soft magenta throw and receive that as a safe hug from the people who love me.

15. I need to remember that I am allowed to be sad for the childhood that I didn’t ahve at the same time that I take joy in the cildhood that I am creating for my own girls.

16.  I need to feel safe while I am sleeping.

17.  I need to know that my body is mine and that nooone has the right to touch it when I feel unsafe with that.

18.  I also need to know how to ask for touch when I feel the need to affirm my ability to celebrate my sensual self.

19. I need to know that I can ask for time alone when I need it.

20.  I need to recognise my unhealthy coping skills while also celebrating my ability to cope for so long.

21. I need to have my needs heard.

22.  I need to affirm for myself that I am strong and brave even when I feel small and afraid.

23.  I need to laugh.

24.  I need to allow myself to connect with my female friends and trust that they can accept me even in my weakness.

25. I need to hug my girls and know that they have always been safe.

Wants:

1. I want time to curl up with the one I love and just hold on for awhile.

2. I want lots of coffee!

3. I want lots of cigarettes.

4. I want to feel my bonds of friendhip strengthening and supporting me.

5. I want to feel like I have found home.

Please, if you are a survivor, remeber to tend to yourself this season.  And if you are in a place where you are able, receive a safe hug for me in celebration of the fact that we have indeed survived!!

Earth Shattering

December 27, 2007

Have you ever had an experience that, even in the middle of it, you know that you know that you will never be the same?  Those “Uh-oh” experiences that rock your world?  Those moments of awareness that tell you that your whole life just changed and the events that set that change in motion started so long ago that there is no way to tell Her now that you didn’t really mean it?

That’s where I am now, smack dab in the middle of one of those experiences, the center of a series of events that started ages ago, perhaps even lifetimes.  If you are reading still because you are waiting for the revelation of the big event…give up now.  The what of this experience is much less important than the how, meaning the way that I walk through it.

The Mother and I have been discussing this now for days.  I know that the title of this blog leads one to believe that I adore change, that I revel in it and almost define my life by it.  This is both true and untrue.  I love the end of the change but not always the process of it.  I keep experiencing all these changes in my life as sort of being the “it” in the sense that I think I am done with it, finished with it, that I have successfully navigated itand now things will be calm and quiet.  Clearly, this is not the case.  I was expressing to a friend the other night the “Uh-oh” feeling that comes to me when I realise that the last huge change that I expereinced was NOT it and instead was merely the very beginning of the prep work for this current not-it.  As I said, I have been discussing this with the Mother often in the last few days.  It feels that I am being told to just step..step forward into the unknown and just keep stepping.  I want to rant and rave to Her that I can’t see  where I am stepping and I’m not quite sure what me will be the one that steps through.  The last time I felt like this was when I decided to actively pursue a pagan path and pursue it to the exclusion of Christianity (this is not to say that it is best for others to do the same nor is it to say that it is the best way period..it was simply best for me!).  In the time since that decision, everything is different.  I have lost my old and rigid world view, my ethics are totally different, my approach to the world and the people who live in it (people being a word that currently describes everyone from humans to crystals to produce!) has been radically re-created, and nothing in the manner and sense of my old daily routines is even remotely similar to that old me that I walked around with for so long.

This new thing is that big, that life altering.  On some level, I feel like I should be afraid.  I’m not.  I do feel a bit overwhelmed..I mean, I mentioned how big this is right??  It seems complex and complicated, something that needs to be navigated with great care.  I am not always kown for managing things with great care.  It isn’t that I intend to be care-less with others, I just feel like I need to be so care-filled with myself.  It’s not always easy to balance those two things, care of others and care of self. 

I’m not sure how I’m going to walk this through, meaning the very specific daily things of doing, those tedious and tense moments of having to decide and step through the minefield.  But I am committed to walking, stepping through day by day to get to the end result..the magic that She promises is waiting at the end of this part of the journey.

Grief

November 16, 2007

I think grief is a sneaky thing, finding its way back into the center of my Self about the time that I’ve decided that I’m feeling okay.  Grief never comes when I am expecting it, when I am ready to meet it on my terms.  Samhain seems the time for grieving, if one must grieve for those who have left this place, but Samhain never feels like grief to me.  Samhain seems to be the time when I wait to hear the voices  of those who have no faces now or those whose once familiar faces are made up of only blurry have remembered pictures in my heart.   But tonight, sitting in the middle of my ordinary life, grief steals up behind me and slams in the back of the heart with a fresh wave of ouch.

In the midst of the horror of my life when I was young, and adolescent trying to make sense of my non-sensical reality, I had a friend.  This was no ordinary friend and no ordinary friendship (though I must say, no friendships are ever really ordinary).   He happened to be a guy and I happened not to be, but that never got in our way.  Somehow, we never tripped over each other’s gender or sexuality in general.  We were just twins of the soul, he and I, and it never occurred to either of us that it would ever be any other way.  I say that our relationship was not ordinary because of our odd sort of bond.  We were connected in the way that twins in storybooks are, feeling each other’s emotions and physical pains no matter where either of us happened to be.  We used to laugh when we tried to call each other, back in the days before call waiting, because each of us would be dialing the other’s number.   When the manure went flying for either of us, the other just showed up, shovel in hand.  When we were broken hearted over ended romances or idiotic parents, the other always had the required shoulder to cry on (or pound, as the situation dictated!).   We each secretly ran away from home once, neither of us confiding in the other, and ended up in the exact same place.  We laughed and cried and then he walked me home.   His girlfriend was another close friend of mine and we used to joke that I would have to be in the middle of the aisle on their wedding day because I was more his best man than her bridesmaid.   When I had broken bones and a bloody face, he would always fix me up and sit with me until the pain was manageable again.  In the nighttime when I could not sleep because I was afraid, he would sneak in and “stand guard” all night so that I could feel safe.

When I was 16 and my world was falling apart again, he was the one I called to come and rescue me.  He was on the way and I could feel him coming, the way I always could.  There was a sudden pain all over me and I knew something terrible had happened.  He was shot and wrecked his car.  I made it to the scene right after the ambulance and I sat with him as he left this place.   Over and over, it seemed that we said I love you.  In some ways, it felt like it took an eternity for him to stop breathing and I swear that he and I talked the whole time, though I can  say now that his mouth never moved.  Yet I heard him so clearly, reminding me to be careful, to stay safe, to stop crying, to really commit to LIVING and not just being here.  I heard him tell me how much he loved me and how he really wasn’t leaving me at all.  I told him everything that I always wanted to: that he was the best friend I would ever have, that he was my hero and my shining knight, that he was the brother of my soul, that I loved him more than anything.  And yet, no words were spoken.

I don’t think about him everyday anymore.  I think that might be a good thing because it’s still so hard to hold all of the good stuff and not hold this grief.  It feels brand new all over again today.  I wish I could say it was his birthday or some other special day.  But it’s just the day that grief comes calling.