Blissfully Lost

Las dos amigas out for a time of pampering. The plan was set, the guys would eat and watch the soccer game while the girls get a day of rest, relaxation and pampering. Kiss, kiss and off they went.

The taxi driver didn’t seem to be “in service”, but then again everything moves slowly in La Paz. I guess that’s why one gets away. He finally agreed to shuttle them to their destination. Girls talk and talk, and giggle ready for their pampering. The driver, on the other hand, seems lost. He asked, one too many times, “What does your phone say?” to which the reply was always, “we have no WiFi”. Finally, at their destination!

The “look” of said oasis promised much. As they walked in they were greeted with sour looks. So much for “walk ins welcomed”. Icily turned away, “no room in the in”. A ray of hope rose in the horizon as one of the clients showed the discouraged amigas another location, AND it happened to be “right around the corner” (hold that thought). Off they went, with their plan “still” in place…pampering!

Blocks, and blocks, and blocks they walked…umm, “are we there yet?” There it is! Yes! The sign on the door shattered their plans, once again, “we’ve moved to a new location…” Taking this as a “sign from above”, they decided to head back to meet back with the guys.

Lost, yup, they were so lost. Walking, walking…hey, so I guess they did get a massage – of their feet…haha!

A wonderful little boy showed them the way. Yes, they are finally at the malecon (walk way by the beach). From here they can find their way “home”.

~~Blissfully lost, not a care in the world. The company of a caring and loving friend made all the difference. The talk was deep and fun. There were tears and much laughter. Somehow, I wish we were still lost…blissfully lost!~~

Behind the Frown

Have you ever wondered what’s behind someone’s frown?

~The two guys in the sauna that seem “angry” at the world. One is going through an all out war with his two brothers after their mother passed away from an aggressive form of cancer that gave them no time to “prepare”. The older brother is now holding their mother’s ashes hostage and refuses to give any of them closure. The other guy in the sauna, is getting out all his emotions here so that he can be “there” for his wife as they bury her beloved father.

~The woman sitting pensive in the Jacuzzi, is trying to regroup; to get some “rest” so that she can go back home to continue caring for her 26 year old, special needs, son who just had emergency open heart surgery.

~The young guy stocking shelves at the local grocery story. His 32 year old wife died of alcohol poisoning after many attempts at getting sober, leaving him a young widow and their five kids motherless.

Most of the time I have a “mad-dog” face, or as the saying goes, “cara de pocos amigos” (a face of not many friends/not a friendly face). Behind my frown is someone trying to keep it together. Someone who is trying not to scream or cry or lash out. Someone who just wants to get the task at hand done. Someone trying to keep the little sanity that she has intact.

What’s behind “your frown”?

Smell

Our senses, amazing God given gifts. For example, take the sense of smell. Certain smells can transport us to a time of pure joy and bliss while others can bring us to places of pain and agony. Some smells can make your mouth salivate at the pure thought of taking a bite of that feast set before you, other times it can make you nauseated and gag at the very whiff, remember the Putrid Smell?

Two houses are etched in my mind. On my way to the bus stop, I’d stop to “pick up” a couple of friends. We were in Junior High (eek, ok that brought back tons of other memories. I sense another post…).  Debbie’s house was bright and had the “smell” of “home”. Warm and cozy, her Mom always preparing something hot for her to eat before heading to school. Always sending her on her way with a hug and a kiss.  Linda’s house was dark, she almost had to sneak out so as to not disturb the coldness. That house felt empty and void.

Certain flower fragrances transport me to the first funeral home I ever attended. Just one smell and I’m sitting in those horrible hard benches, with that open casket which held the shell of the body of my 26 year old brother. Every fiber in my being feels exactly what I felt at that moment.

The stench of alcohol assaults me with thoughts of that man taking my innocence; of that man who beat me to a pulp; of that time I almost didn’t survive.

Interesting how the senses work. Where do “smells” take you?

Difficulty with Titles

As my life journey continues, I’m having to think, and rethink…and think some more some things that have been said to me, implied or I’ve said in the form of remarks, cliches, sayings. A couple of “titles” I’m chewing on, asking questions, digging deeper…simply meditating.

“Princess” – If a “princess” then I am entitled to royal treatment. My crown in place, not a hair out of place, face on, constant smile (cause who wants a sad or frowning princess, right?). Sitting primp and proper on her beautiful throne, high above anything and anyone. Expecting to be served, entitled to a happy full life. Every desire met. Her word is law! Reminds me of the Porcelain Doll

“Warrior” – the title alone commands awe and admiration. A picture of one with full body armor, stance ready to pounce, to win. Raging on, taking captives, winning against everything and everyone, cause “losing” is NOT an option. “Surrendering” would be a sign of weakness, a thought that shouldn’t even cross the mind of such a specimen. Superheros aren’t adulated for their humanity, right? They are “super natural beings” with “supernatural powers”. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Signs of weakness and thoughts of surrender are NOT an option! No tears, no sadness…not allowed to be human with ups and downs and all the emotions that come with them. “I am woman, hear me roar! I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan…” “I got this!” “No pain, no gain!”…and on and on.

Depression, panic-attacks, anxiety, PTSD are deep dark secrets, full of guilt and shame, hiding in the shadows. Therapy is a four-letter word. Princesses and Warriors don’t need any “help”. Days that lay you out, cradling your body in a fetal position, rocking back and forth hoping it will silence the voices, the pain, the screams…shhhhh, don’t tell anyone, what will they think? Princesses and Warriors don’t go down, they are always standing, pushing through, reigning and conquering.

Can we be allowed to be simply human? Is that not enough???

Fisted Hands

Hands closed…tight, tight! Veins pop, the flow of “life” is cut off. Holding on for dear life, thinking, “if I squeeze tighter ‘nothing’ will be lost; nothing will ooze away.” It has been said, “he who dies with the most toys wins”. Grab, grab, grab…holding tight, oh so tight. Eventually, there is no room for “more”.

This could be said of possessions, but what about relationships? People come into our lives for a “moment” in time. Nothing and no one stays forever. My parents, both gone. My sister, my brother – gone! Friends whom I thought would be around forever, gone! Some have physically moved away, others relationally, while others have completely been severed.

There was a time I thought that by holding on tightly I could protect, shield, keep forever. That’s not how it was meant to be…acceptance is a journey worth taking.

Learning to be present, in the moment, because “tomorrow” will bring its own or it will never come. Today is a gift! This moment is a gift! Drink deeply of the moments gifted to you. Keep your hand open, your heart open…love, live, laugh!

The Impact of Words

“I’m so proud of you!” Wait, did you just say that to me? I must have heard wrong. You don’t mean it. You’re just saying that…and on and on and on.

Used to having every word and decision questioned, positive feedback is hard to accept. I remember once I was asked to handle a task. I asked for all the requirements and such. The person giving me the lead said, “You got this! I know you can handle this. I trust you.” I almost fell off my seat. In fact, I myself questioned “my every decision”, so afraid of making a mistake. Once the task was finished, I remember thinking, “I did it! And, it went really well.” I was so surprised.

Words can build or tear down!  Words can wound or heal! They can be said to me or I can say them to others.

Let me be slow to speak and quick to listen. Quick to give positive feedback, and slow, or better yet keep my mouth shut when tempted to criticize or tear down.

 

My Grieving Friend

I saw her. Her steps were heavy. Every move cautions, as if each move threatened to shatter her brokenness. Somber, every facial line etched deeply. Her frame and movements seemed ancient compared to her real age. Her beautiful body bowed, like she had just been hit in the stomach and all the breath was zapped out. She seemed unapproachable, quiet…her mind far, far away.

She spoke softly, almost in a whisper, almost as if she didn’t have enough air in her lungs. I had no idea the sorrow and the pain she held deeply, reverently. We would sit for coffee, often. At times she spoke, but mostly she listened. There, yet, absent. Her red lipstick always on point…she needed color, somewhere…anywhere.

Cautiously, briefly, she opened a window of her soul to me. We entered a sacred place…her garden. Filled with color, serene, holy. In the midst of her vibrant garden was a memory garden filled with the most mundane of things, yet each was set with purpose, with care. A bench, a bird bath, a cross, an angel, and lots and lots of miniature roses. Oh, the tears, the memories, the talks that garden held. We stood in silence, it was a sacred moment. She shared that her 21 year old son had gone off an embankment; that she had to identify his remains; that she missed him; that this was one way of honoring his memory. I gasped, I couldn’t say a word, but felt privileged that she had allowed me into the sacredness of her pain.

Many, many years have passed. I now sit in my own memory garden. Mine has rocks with messages, butterflies and plants that attract butterflies. My daughter loved butterflies. I put a rock with her name on it…something about her name.

My dear grieving friend, how much you taught me through your silence ❤