the home that wasn’t

In exactly one week, we head off to a whole new life…a new world to us, new environment, new culture, new (to us) house…..everything new and different!!

I am scared, excited, fearful, exhilarated, anxious, and sad…  I see the sun peeking up as I write and I think of the thousands of sun rises and sunsets which have encroached upon this world for me…  I’ve had the happiest sunsets I ever thought possible right here in this little frustrating town.  I’ve had the absolutely most phenomenal sunrises here as well.  I can say with complete candor, I’ve had experiences and moments here which were the very stuff that dreams are made of…the very fiber of fairy tales come to life.  I have made some unbelievably wonderful friends and known some interesting people.  I’ve laughed till my stomach hurt for days following and my cheeks felt like they had done strenuous Pilates.  I’ve cried more tears than I knew I had in me.  Here, my heart has been so full of love I thought it would burst and so broken, I thought I would die.  I’ve spent days on the beach about which I could have written novels, both comedic and romantic.  I’ve met pilots traveling through, partied with hundreds of people inside military planes.  I’ve gone swimming by moonlight, laughing through the waves.  I’ve skipped in the rain and laughed in the snow. I’ve sat out and I’ve danced.  I’ve lived in ten different houses here, all with unique people and experiences.  I’ve been single here.  I’ve been married here.  I’ve been a mother here and responsibility free.  I had my first real boyfriend here and my first grown-up love.  I’ve learned lessons I never even imagined as a child.  I’ve grown, I’ve stagnated, I’ve flown free as a butterfly and I’ve been imprisoned like a criminal.

I’ve played house and wife, mother and employee.  I’ve played conservative party-girl, lost hippie child, and unemployed beach bum.  When I moved away for college and a few years later my world crashed, I ran here.  This has been the only home (“base”) I’ve ever known.  The only place I’ve been able to return to (come “home” to)in the whole world  no matter what happened.  As much as I’ve often felt out-of-place here, out of sorts, and like an “outsider”, over the years, I’ve become this place; both the things I love here and the things I don’t.  This place is a part of me…a huge and irrevocable piece of my growth and my essence.  I will carry people and memories, lessons and experiences from here as though it’s part of my genetic DNA.  In spite of the fact that I did not “grow up” here, I very much did grow up here in so very many ways.  The people and things I’ve done and known here have shaped my soul in a good ways and bad.  The sand from the beaches has become embedded in my skin forever.  The memories rooted in my soul, never to be un-done, even if someday forgotten.  I carry every person, every moment, every encounter, every drop of beach water, every crashing wave, every love, every hurt, every tear, and every laugh with me for the rest of my days.   I’ve been hated here, loved here, nurtured and abused here on every imaginable and unimaginable level.  I’ve wildly dreamed of escaping this hell-hole and I’ve ached to return to its embracing shores…

I’ve never known a “home”, a home base, a place to run to…never.  And yet, I knew that here; the home of a place to go when I was lost and scared in the world (my dad).  The home where I felt I was always supposed to be, the place I walked into and realized I had been holding my breath for so many years, I didn’t realize how beautiful breathing could be (Dave).

This has been the only home I’ve ever known by any definition or connotation of the word “home”.   I am scared to the pit of my soul to leave here…and yet I’m scared equally to stay.  I fear I can never come “home” again, in the way that this is now my home.  I’m a mother and a college graduate and I wasn’t even raised here, and yet somehow it almost feels like I’m leaving the nest for the very first time.  I feel like a high school graduate heading off into the world on my own into the far and unknown beyond.

What will be here when I next return to visit, to live, to escape, to…????  What feelings will remain?  How will I be changed?  Nothing will ever stay the same as it is now and has been.

Life is scary.  Change is inevitable.  This was never my home…and yet strangely it’s also been the only home I’ve ever known.

Puppy Love

 Forgive my amateur attempts at posting a photo album please.  It’s my first try at that…as I’m all about the words and less about the pictures….but I had to try to share our new baby love:)

We adopted Bullitt from the local Rescue.  He’s 7 months old and a real lover-boy!!  He is not offcially “ours” as we actually adopted him on behalf of my ex husband (babies’ daddy) to bring out with us on our big move out west next week (!!!)  However, I’ve my doubts as to this  happening once we arrive…  Bullitt has become so maternally attached and dependent on me, like a 2 year old with serious separation anxiety issues, and I’m uncertain as to how the tranferrence of families will go for him. He whimpers and cries so heart-breakingly when I’m out of his sight….   He just may not accept the situation.  He’s beautiful, he’s sweet, he’s loyal and protective, and he’s also quite a handful and a real PITA at times too…but his love is so endearing and unbelievably devoted that he’s worth every hassle….and this is coming from the lady who has always considered herself a “cat whisperer”…total connection to the feline family is just my nature.  Cats and I are like one entity..they just look much  somewhat different than I. However this little adoption time has opened my eyes to dog ownership and perhaps will even help in my ability to allow relationships with humans closer than I tend to…. ??  Although it’s a big responsibility and 24/7 care-taking, my heart is opening wider through this than I can recall in a very, very long time.  Dare I say it????  Ummm….I trust him!  There…it’s said out loud”.  I really do.

It’s interesting how a dog’s personality is slowly having a huge affect on mine…hehe:-)

He’s beautiful and wonderful!!!  We are madly in love with him..challenges and all!!

I feel absolutely certain there will be more Bullitt stories to come, as I could fill a blog with them already after only three weeks!!

“…Ladybugs Katherine! Lots and lots of ladybugs!”

Lazing in the glorious sun in my back yard yesterday, chatting with girls and Mark about the big upcoming move, feeling mostly excited and thankfully, only mildly overwhelmed at the moment thinking of all that has to be done…all that’s to be left behind, and what’s to come…  Sweet ladybug lands on my thigh, just hanging out for a moment.  I try to recall what this means.  I have a vague recollection of some movie or some symbolic meaning of this ladybug in this moment.

 “Ladybug: Perhaps best known as an emblem of luck, the Ladybug is a love symbol too. Asian traditions hold to the belief that if caught and then released, the Ladybug will faithfully fly to your true love and whisper your name in his/her ear. Upon hearing the Ladybug’s message your true love will hurry his/her way to your side. Ancient farmers of the land have considered the Ladybug a good omen as she controls aphid populations. The number of spots on a Ladybug’s back is said to indicate the number of months to pass before the wish for love comes true.”

My ladybug flew off and then returned briefly to the same spot on my thigh.  She only hung out with me for a moment…long enough for me to curiously wonder.  Later I found the above explanation when I Googled animal symbolism.

Strange feelings stirred this weekend with Mark’s visit.  He shared some upsetting news with me and it turned my world around.  It was as if some ancient forgotten feelings were gently brushed. There seems to be a woman he has casually dated, who is claiming she is pregnant with his child.  Oh geesh…hello and welcome to the Jerry Springer Show!  What the heck is this?! I remained fairly calm at first but the feelings slowly snuck up on me as I pondered and tears threatened to spill.  I was hurt. 

Only last Christmas I asked him if we could have another baby.  He was adamantly and decidedly against this. Mostly I was teasing him, but I was really hoping at the same time.  A part of me longs to know what a planned pregnancy feels like before I hang up my reproductive abilities forever.  I love our children and wouldn’t think to change a thing regarding them, but I have the saddest sense of never knowing the excitement that comes with learning I am pregnant, in spite of the fact that I have two fabulous children.  I only know the, “Oh my GOD! I’m pregnant..what the heck should/am I going to do?”  I don’t know the, “Yay…LOOK we’re having a baby!” feeling.  At one point, I was absolutely certain I would have this with Dave, but that’s not going to ever be and I resigned myself to the mercy of my children’s father hopefully granting me the third and first expectedly planned child.  Again, not to be…

And now this…a “stranger” having a child with MY children’s father?  A half-brother or sister right in the delicate era when I’m desperately trying to explain intelligent life-choices to my teen/pre-teen girls?  Immediately following my pleadings for a planned child? It’s upsetting to me in a very selfish way and in a not-so-selfish way in regards to my daughters and the family we have created in spite of the divorce.  Mark confessed strong hunches and disbelief that this really is his child.  I admit I share these hunches, but I can’t tell if this is wishful, desperate hope or actual intuition.  Really feels like intuition, as the circumstances surrounding this pregnancy as relayed by Mark, are clouded in a dark suspicion.  Apparently he had “the” conversation with this woman and even prior to their intimate relations which resolutely explained his unwillingness and total lack of desire for any more children.  I certainly am no hypocrite and fully understand taking chances and what happens sometimes, as I have one unplanned child with this man and another one who borders between the planned and unplanned – but purposely and knowingly (on both our parts) taking a BIG chance area.  However, something just feels different with this.  Mark and I never had this conversation he had with this woman, until last Christmas…years after our two children’s births.  And keeping these children was never a thought to Mark.  He would discuss no other options with either actually.

I did finally find my voice to say softly, “Dammit, I wanted us to have one more and I even begged you last Christmas!” I was a little comforted when he replied, “I know and it would be totally different if this was you.”

Something passionate and historically forgotten (but not lost?) for this man, this unbelievably fantastic father of my children, awoke with those words. Momentarily I forgot my sadness and the- what-will-this-do-to-our-children fears and it dawned on me that there IS one person on this planet with whom it is different for me in a good way.  A place on this earth where I have carte blanche and the huge margin of error I’ve never known and always hoped to have somewhere in my lifetime…or recognized might be the more appropriate word?  Hindsight tells me I always had it here, but never fully realized or comprehended. And as hurt and afraid and sad as I felt, it was temporarily overcome by love for this beautiful man, who after everything, does love me and does put me in a position of greater respect.  This man who, other than our two terrific children, has more reason than anyone to NOT put me in this position.  The same man who knows of so many of my faults, mistakes and truly ugly characteristics…still chooses to give ME this place, this status, this beautiful acceptance and WIDE berth of error. 

I flash back to the deciding moments I’ve had with Mark.  The tearfully spoken “Ummmm…guess what?” moments in which this man responded with every support and every ounce of respect any one could offer a woman in such frightening times.  He never once veered in his choices to want and to love our children, unexpected, unplanned, whatever….  Never once.  I did.  I was confused and scared and undecided..reflecting on ALL our options.  While he, he was stout and strong and beautifully decided.  And my selfish, spoiled self rears its ugly head now to scream at this other woman, “Na na na na boo boo…I’M the mamma dammit…I’m the wanted Mamma.  He was never willing to discuss adoption or abortion with me!”  It never even occurred to me that Mark had any other responses to, Guess what?  I’m pregnant than full and total support and strength.  Seems he does.  Although in my defense, I was not a grown woman with a professional career who engaged in the I DO NOT want any children discussion with him just prior to our pregnancies.  Seems as though our accidents were more in the area of mutual accidents and never came across as even possibly planned or pre-meditated, as this situation screams.

I have not always acted honorably in our various life challenges as people or as parents with Mark.  In fact, there are many occasions when I have acted horribly and been just mean and hateful.  I can blame some of these on circumstances, innocence, and youthful self-righteousness and I have had cause to regret them anyway, but they will now always be sources of shame for me after this one little sentence he spoke like a gift from God.  Have I really given Dave K.  every chance, every forgiveness, every excuse for a million horrible and hateful beyond explanation behaviors and actions against me while being selfish and stingy with these in regards to my children’s father, who has repeatedly and thoroughly proven himself as far more deserving of forgiveness and acceptance than this, or any, other man?  Am I this blind?

I was.  I must have been.  Was the intoxicating joy and perfection I felt with Dave and never once prior so much that it knocked me senseless and blind to see the beauty of Mark’s love and respect for me?  I’ve always been admitting and openly praising of Mark as a man who worked hard to change his early shortcomings and surprisingly became the greatest father I could have ever hoped for my children.  I have almost always been open to seeing this and believing in it from the actions-speak-louder-than-words faith, but I just never really “got it” fully.  Am I part of the reason he succeeded so well in this?

I never would have guessed or presumed this.  EVER!   And it smacked me so beautifully and lovingly that I was taken aback with a brand new love and gratitude for Mark, the most beautiful father, ex, and friend any woman could dream of.  I fell just a little bit back in love with him this weekend. Whoa…life sure is surprising in its sudden and totally unexpected twists and turns!  I can’t even imagine what this will or will not bring… or what it even means…

Tweet-tweet memories

Early morning,  birds chirping….so many memories…

She was a junior in college, working the swing shift at a casino in Mississippi…driving home with Jennifer at 4 am, laughing,  feeling so brave, fresh, young, self-confident, and maybe just a teensy bit cocky!  Arriving home at daybreak and lulled to sleep by tiny spirited chirps.  Birds chirping sweetly mean freedom and independence and they whisper softly to you in your dreams that life is just beginning…

Later, she was married…waiting and worrying through sleepless nights for him to arrive home safely.  Sitting up with exhaustion night after night as she heard the birds sweetly start chirping, like an alarm clock confirming another full night of his absence…wondering why…  Wondering what…  Remembering his stories of frighteningly excessive cocaine use and bird chirping confessions regarding his first wife.  Realizing that this alarm clock no longer brought happy thoughts of freedom and a life unwritten, full of opportunities to create future happy memories.  Now this charming sound indicated it was long past time to lock the door.  Yes.  Lock the door.  Birds chirping sweetly mean your husband is still using drugs and your marriage might be a terrible mistake.

Some years and a nasty divorce later, she often stayed at his house.  Him….the only him for her.  The one who brought joy to her simplest thoughts and hope from her worst fears.  The one who showed her how  to smile while sleeping and taught her to wake with excitement and promise…the only one. She loved that he would wake early and go fishing…  Birds chirping sweetly as nature’s background music as he made love to her.  He hated leaving her alone in his bed and simply had to have her in the wee early mornings when watching her sleep made him want her more than anything else in the world… Sometimes it seemed more like a dream and the gentle chirping reassured her this was no dream….he was real and he loved her.  Kissing her softly on her still sleepy mouth before he left, she would linger in the land between dreams and reality waiting for sleep to return….knowing that when she next awoke it would be to his adoring smile and passionate, I-missed-you-so-much-before-the-sun-came-up this morning wake-up kisses.  Birds chirping sweetly mean that you are the luckiest, most loved and adored woman on earth and bring millions of kisses….kisses that taste like falling deeply in love  and smell like the fresh ocean breeze.

Shaky relief

After riding an an emotional roller coaster the past two days, I’ve hit the stop.  It came in increments and with stops and surges, but I do believe it has stopped.  Or maybe I just jumped off….? Either way, after a long discussion with a dear and trusted friend this morning, I’m feeling the strangest (unshakable!) sense of having narrowly escaped something truly horrible….  This brings would-be relief and also is leaving me with a very sick sense in the pit of my stomach.  Rather like immediately after a car crash, when you should feel just relief, yet that shaky feeling is still sitting inside your gut.  I’m having that sensation in massive doses at the moment.

I admit I’m hurting just a little and feeling a strong sense of disappointment, while simultaneously feeling gratitude and relief all jumbled in together.  Contradicting, as per my usual:)

I may not ever understand why addicts come to me in droves or if it’s my persona, their need for compassion/acceptance/whatever or a dreadful combination of the two….  However, I am understanding it’s far more serious than I’ve ever credited it to be and certainly poses a danger in my dating attempts…as well as my judgment versus my compassionate nature who wants to accept everyone for just who they are.  Bad, bad combo!  And I resolve to be better aware of this trend and run like hell at the first sign of its continuation.

Acceptance?  Compassion?  Hmmm… or merely a naive target for addicts to cling onto to try to make themselves okay with themselves?  I’m leaning toward the latter.

I am sad.  I considered shedding a few tears, but actually now, upon recent revelations, am feeling quite grateful that I didn’t bother wasting any of my precious tears over this could-have-been -tragic matter…and save my emotional vulnerability for a worthier matter, like Lent and/or the sad lack of genuine love on this planet.

I’ve the feeling it’s not over though….I may only be experiencing a respite.  But, again, I suppose I have to accept the fact that whether or not that’s the case in this matter is entirely up to me.  I have choices.  I have will power.  I have independence.  I have love…genuine love.  Not everyone has these..sadly, Danny doesn’t have the important one’s and I must focus on gratitude that I’m not in that position.  I’m in an excellent position, although slightly in shock and only a tad wounded.

We are one

I sat in a group of people today.  People I don’t know, most I have never seen, and all with their own stories to tell and the lives and mistakes they’ve lived.  Once upon a time, I would have thought I was different from them…maybe better, maybe worse, maybe more, maybe less…  but always different.

It ocurred to me as I looked around the room, that I’m am everyone of them.  All the bad and all the good, no better, probably no worse.  I could see myself in every face.  It was amazing!

I am so grateful for all my blessings.  Mark’s understanding and lack of judgment, Judy’s friendship, the fake friends I’ve walked away from, my phenomenal children. our home, my father, God, and every tiny thing that happens to me which prompts me toward change and understanding.

the sincerest gift…and great big gratitude

 

Marvelous experience today!

 

I opted to go to Subway for my lunch today.  After trying unsuccessfully to find a lunch companion, I was on my own.  My recent personal endeavor has been to do random kindnesses that can’t be found out.  For the past few months, whenever I drive through somewhere to buy something (usually food or coffee!), if a car is behind me in the line, I pay for their order as well.   I used to do this same thing years ago just randomly, but now I’m doing it regularly and consistently.  I LOVE THIS!!!    …By the time the stranger realizes their order was paid for, I’m already gone.  I love that this is so direct and yet so anonymous and I hope that it inspires these people to a moment of joy at the random surprise which allows no thank you or feeling of indebtedness.  Hoping they sense the delightful inspiration of kindness just for kindness’ sake.

 

Today, I did this at Subway and the cashier at the drive-thru got the biggest smile on her face and says in the most genuine way, “You know, you are awesome!”  I replied thank you so much.  Then she says, “ I know you.”   I’m thinking she does look very familiar, but I’m feeling badly that I’m not certain who she is…  and also that if anyone knows me in this new endeavor of mine, then to some degree, it becomes a failed endeavor.

 

Subway lady was the sweetest lady!  She gave me back a priceless gift today.  She says, “No, I know you from your work and you really should know that you’re truly awesome.” 

WOW!!! Although my little mission was somewhat compromised, I’m so grateful for the sincerity and beauty in this lady’s kind words.  I really needed to hear that (especially in regards to the work I do)

And now, I am full of gratitude at having had the opportunity to buy someone’s lunch and at the incredible compliments from this person.  

GREAT BIG THANKS!!!