Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Jason Statham's Got A Crush

Yah.  I have that kind of effect.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Yah and So THIS Happened...

Thanks to my friend CBeth for letting me borrow this picture from her. And yes, that IS my new boyfriend getting baptized. And yes, he sure DOES look a lot like TheEx...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Forgiven

What's your unforgivable sin? I mean, the one that you could never forgive. I can think of a few that would test my ability to survive.  Most of which I've asked God to never let me be tested in that way.

In 2007, I encountered one at the top of my short-sighted limited list and called a lawyer.  A year later, I stood in front of a judge as he signed my divorce papers.  I stood with the same deer in the headlights look as about 10 other people sitting there waiting their turn.

The majority of my divorce survival, I prayed for different things. Mostly, "God, help me get through this moment, hour, day."  But often I asked him to please put true forgiveness in my heart.  I knew it wouldn't happen solely by my own efforts.  Back then, if you Googled "Hell Hath No Fury", I would swear you'd have found my picture.

God kept me . . . sane, I guess.  When I wasn't attempting to control my fate, he generally kept me from hatred.  He was also good enough to allow me the ugly feelings.  But he didn't let me settle there.

God sent my parents here.  He put me in a very unique neighborhood full of friends that helped (and still do).  Often times, unasked.  He gave me the perfect church of patient people able to nurture me while I remained encapsulated in my pain and struggle, often unable to comprehend that anyone else could be hurting as badly as I was or hurting at all.

During the whole time, God worked on The Ex, too.  Quite frequently, he let me witness it.

In 2010, The Ex returned to my state and town. An answer to many prayers of two awesome boys.  And to many of my own.  But it was hard.  It renewed my pain, anger, resentment and need to see him punished.

He returned to various levels of disdain - not just from me but from those in my world that had stood by me.  His own struggle with guilt and shame was made heavier by the judgment of those that loved me.

God sent some of His True People to The Ex.  My pastors, my music director & his wife, and a couple of other folks from my church.  Many of my friends took their lead from me and allowed themselves to be friendly to him.  Many were surprised to find he wasn't a horrible person.

It has taken almost three years in close proximity but God is rocking real forgiveness.  My parents treat The Ex like family now.  My BigSis and her TallGuy would have been first in line to kick his ass back in the early days of the horror show.  And now they accept him as family, too.  That is some grace right there, I tell yah.

You will be shocked and dismayed to hear that I am not perfect.  Nay, it is so.  Most days, I feel like I have completely forgiven The Ex and can be perfectly strong in our friendship.  We laugh a lot.  We watch TV with the boys a lot.  We eat out a lot.  I mean, he was my best friend for 17 years.  Losing that was awful.  God restoring our friendship is just one in a huge thread of miracles in this story.

My imperfection comes in the fragility of my resolve.  I am easily undone by events that remind me of the wrong done me.  I am easily undone by the enemy reminding me of things The Ex did back when we were dissolving.  I am easily undone by any tiny misstep he takes in our friendship.

Over and over these last few years, God keeps reminding me "There IS no unforgivable sin." Not with God.  Humans, sure.  We have our limits.  But even those can be overcome if we ask God to help us.  So I keep asking God to help me forget.  Wipe the bad memories from my brain.  When they come, I tell the enemy to piss off.  Then I box up the memory or emotion, put it down and ask God to take it.  Then I ask him to help me move on without it.  To help me make NEW memories with my friend, The Ex.

Since the holidays - when I had a major Hell Hath No Fury meltdown with The Ex - we have turned a major corner.  We communicate more regularly.  If something is eating at me and I can't make it leave, I tell The Ex.  And he will talk to me.  Sometimes, he lets me cry or vent or just explain how frustrated I am.  I keep thinking each of these episodes will chase him off again.  He has told me that will never happen again.

We are working with God, our church, and counselors to clear the mess between us.  We don't have to FIX all the problems that were there right this minute.  But we are both committed to get them out in the open, identify them, work at making sure we don't repeat it.  How could we ever move on to new relationships if we can't do that?

My point to this whole blathering mess is this: There IS no unforgivable sin.  For me as a human, there are offenses that could take me a lifetime to forgive.  But The Ex has a blank slate from God.  I get a re-do from God all the time.  I want to give The Ex the same blank slate that God already gave him.  And that God repeatedly gives me.

It doesn't really matter what he or I did to break our marriage and get it to the point where we canned it.

What matters is my God came down and suffered all the trappings of humanity - including torture and murder - to allow me my blank slate and freedom from the slavery of a crazy litany of rules.  The least I can do is forgive someone for being imperfect and allow him to be the wonderful guy I met back in the late 80's and shared my life with for 17 years.  And I thank God that he's given The Ex an extra helping of patience to deal with my imperfect humanity while I ride the roller coaster of forgiveness.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Of Kittehz and More Kittehz

In July 2006, the last of our long time kitties left this world. His name was Elvis and he was fabulous. I got Elvis and his "sister" Gwenevere from a friend back in 1989. They were tiny balls of fur, each easily fitting into the palm of a hand. Elvis, the gray spaz and Gwenny, the orange and white needy dainty. Months later, the vet would inform me that Gwenevere was a boy. But "she" was dainty and girly and Gwenny stuck.

In Sept 1991, just days after being assaulted by some psycho just feet from my apartment, I found a tiny black kitten. I hung signs and they were torn down. I hung signs again and they were torn down again. Someone didn't want this kitten found. So I kept him. Or The Ex (my then boyfriend) took him. He became Taliesen or Tally or TallyMan. He was energetic, sphinxy, and played tag with me. He could leap from a sitting position to the top of a door. And he adored our friend Al...the one most allergic. Oh yes...he also loved to dig up house plants and art installations of The Ex's roommates.

In Nov 1991, a coworker told me about her friend who had 4 kittens that needed homes or her husband would take them and drown them. The next day I had a carrier with 4 kittens under my desk at work. I brought them home. Ilsa went to wonderful friends. Chiquita went to other wonderful friends. My roommate Darcy took Picard, the longest haired white kitty I've ever known. And The Ex took Wednesday, Chiquita's twin sister.

Eventually, The Ex and I ended up with my Elvis & Gwenny, his Tally & Wednesday, and Darcy's Picard (or Picky). BigBro joined our family in 2000. He came home just under 7 lbs...smaller than even Wednesday (or Winky), our smallest cat at 9lbs. We joked that he was the 6th cat.

Picky was completely intolerant of sudden or loud noises. When the Bruins scored, The Ex yelled, "YES!!" and Picky would bolt from the room. When BigBro had colic? Picky was the only kitty that stayed in his room while he cried.

We let a growing BigBro work out territory issues and whether pounding your fat toddler hand on their scratching post was ok with the kitties. It only took one good whack on the hand from a kitty paw to answer that 2nd issue. They all shared the space. And the kibble...

In Sept 2001, Picard died from a heart attack related to a thyroid problem. He went to sleep and never woke up.

Two months before Lil'Bro was born in 2003, Gwenny went in for surgery to unblock a liver bile duct. I got a call from the OR. She was riddled with cancer and putting her back together would not give her a comfortable life. We let her go on the table at the age of 14.

Lil'Bro was born into a three kitty household. He took the lead from BigBro and treated the kitties well from the get go. There may have been one tail pulling but the kitties let him know how they felt about that and it wasn't repeated.

In 2005, we were preparing for our move from Boston to Texas. Tally and Winky weren't doing well. The vet was pretty sure they had cancer and warned us they might not survive the trip. Three weeks before the move, Tally became lethargic and rarely ate. The vet confirmed he would not be long in this world. So I held him while they put him to sleep.

A week later, Winky became unresponsive. Her eyes were open and she could hear us but she just didn't have it in her to respond. I drove her in and held her as they put her to sleep.

In Sept 2005, The Ex and I took a 5 yr old, a 21 month old, Elvis in a carrier and our bags on a plane from Boston to Dallas. Kids and cat were awesome on the plane, by the way.

Elvis went from a tuna can two bedroom apartment to a four bedroom two story carpeted house. He spent his day moving from sunspot to sunspot. He was pretty sure it was heaven. He loved it and so did we.

In the summer of 2006, Elvis started looking rough. He threw up often and began peeing in odd spots. He lost weight rapidly. I would take him to the vet. They would give him fluids and a few other shots. He would rally for a week or two and go back to the sick. After doing this a couple of months, my vet said, "Look, I can keep reviving him and sending him home. But he will be back again. This isn't a good life for him." So once again, I held my best friend as they put him to sleep. I cried for every single kitty. But this...I sat in their parking lot sobbing for what felt like hours. Elvis was my special kitty.

After 17 years of owning kitties, I was done for a looooong while.

Until this past Halloween. I had been browsing our local shelter site for months. I kept eyeing this one gorgeous black kitten not being adopted. His name was Starbucks because he was found abandoned in a Starbucks parking lot. I drink, breathe and snort Starbucks coffee so I kept joking I should get him. Then he disappeared from their site and I thought, oh good! He got a home!

A few weeks later, he was back, a little bigger and his description said an eye infection had left him partially blind in one eye. By now the boys had seen his picture and we kept talking about whether we should get a cat soon. I told them if Starbucks wasn't adopted by Christmas, we'd get him. Just before Halloween, he was moved to a big chain pet store right across the street! Well, we HAD to go see him! I decided to go check out Starbucks and another black kitty named Twix.

We got there and Starbucks was even more gorgeous than his pictures showed. He wanted nothing to do with being held. Most of his little 8 months had been spent in a cage and being handled for medical procedures. We were warned he won't want to be held.

Twix had been adopted the previous day so we looked at all of the other kitties for a companion. I wanted another black kitty because they have trouble adopting black cats. People really are still very superstitious about them! But one kitten there caught our eye. A gray and white long haired kitty. He was nonplused with all the goings on. The other cats showed off and played. He just remained curled up in his open cage. He'd look at you Iike, "Oh...hey...sup?" This was the most chill kitten I had ever met.

A couple of days before Halloween, our family brought home Starbucks and Dunkin (as in Donuts).

As I type this on my iPad in bed, the skittish Starbucks is laying next to my left arm with his head and one paw on my shoulder. The only reason he isn't laying across my chest and neck is because I won't let him while I'm typing! He lets us hold him for long periods of time. He follows me around and loves The Ex and both boys. He often cuddles curled up with Lil'Bro.

Dunkin is around somewhere. That most mellow kitty ever? He's the instigator. He is usually the alpha cat. And he went from small adolescent kitten to big huge kitty over these past weeks. He is extremely demanding of our time and attention. He reminds me of Elvis because he has soft bunny fur like Elvis did. He reminds me of Picky because they both fuss at you verbally if they want attention. He often follows one of us around just yelling at us. "Why aren't you picking me UP?!"

Dunkin just turned one in February. Starbucks will be one in April.

I will try to find pictures to add. But I may just post this.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Long Time Gone

I haven't written here in over a year. That's kind of sad and kind of wonderful. I started this blog to write about our journey with Tourette's. That was derailed by me using this blog as an outlet as I struggled through my divorce and becoming a very shaky single mom.

So the sadness is, I used to write here every day. Then weekly, monthly, never. I miss the community a few of us built here.

The wonderful is, I needed this to work out fears and experiences with Tourette's that I just new would increase and rule my life. It has disappeared and is only in my life when it comes from external sources. I needed this to work through heart break, incredible emotional pain and deep deep depression. You all were my social checkpoint. I had trouble feeling like relating in person. Now, some of you are still connected to me on Facebook, through email (remember email?!), or in real life. And the divorce...well there's a story for you.

Let's catch up a bit.

In 2010, I think I mentioned The Ex moved back from Boston. While happy for my boys, I certainly didn't need someone messing up my routine or trying to insert himself into my parenting. It wasn't an easy adjustment. Having him 3000 miles away gave me a huge buffer zone. I didn't have to deal with him. Suddenly, BOOM! I had to deal with him. And all the memories and anger and resentment that came with that.

I have ridden the roller coaster of TotallyOverIt or HellHathNoFury. It has slowly gone from insane highs and lows to more even keeled. The Ex and I started getting along well and hanging out a lot.

2011 & 2012, more of the same. I worked. I did the mom thing. The Ex helped out quite a lot. And I tell yah, after 3 yrs of asking for help from my awesome mom or amazing neighbors or rockin' church family, it was good to have help from the person that SHOULD help.

My awesome church had a huge transition. After our head pastors moved to CA, we steadily began losing members. Small to begin with, it didn't take much to take the wind out of our sails. We got a church adviser that helped the remaining small group of families really take personal inventory and step up to the plate. It was a year of huge growth. And growth always comes with pain. But the growth was the main thing.

The Ex became our regular worship drummer. He also became a full believer! Something I prayed for for decades, never thinking I'd get to witness it. I stayed out of it because he wasn't my husband, we had too much history that involved religious differences. I wanted this all to be between him, God and whomever God sent to minister to him. And boy did God rock this! When God shows up for you personally? It's pretty difficult to discount him. But watching him seek God, question everything but with sincerity, not belligerence, watching him have real experience with the Presence of God...THAT was an honor.

We have found another amazing church. And this one, we both chose. The old church had been him coming into MY territory. As accepted as he was, it still had that feel for us. This church is OUR church. Which is very cool. He's on the worship team again. I'm serving all over the place. Currently, I am gearing up to facilitate another Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class. I'm helping with the food service. I'm helping with greeting, recycling, anything they need.

And I'm dating. After over 6 years of friends and family, I've just recently had about 4 dates with the same dude in about 2 weeks. And it's pretty cool.

A few people know who it is. The rest don't really need to know. He's private and I sure don't want to muck it up.

BigBro and LittleBro are doing amazingly well. BigBro will be 13 this summer. His Tourette's is gone and he is a huge testament to God's healing and grace. We prayed for total healing and left room in our minds for the possibility of God leaving it for some other purpose. But it's gone. BigBro's prayers have been so sincere and lacking the doubt and walls us adults bring to prayer. I think God gave him an early testimony. So I will always listen to and work with my doctors. But a human diagnosis will never have the last word for us. I leave that to God.

LilBro just turned 9. He is just as intelligent as his older brother but not as flashy. He is doing so well in school. His teachers over the last few years have recognized that he had some leadership qualities behind that shy little exterior. This year, he has been given some really great leadership tasks by his teacher. He rose to the occasion each time. He powered through the fear and did it. His confidence has soared.

So much has happened since my last posting in Nov 2011. Most of it incidental in this context. But if seeing my ex accept God/Jesus his life and heart is all I ever get? I'm totally ok with that!

I'll catch you up on other stuff soon. And I'll see if I can convince LilBro to let me post his current picture here. He is old enough where he gets to approve or veto any pic I post of him!