A Lesson in Goodbye

Living in beautiful farm country, we are surrounded by acres of gorgeous country side, serene views, peaceful mornings (no sounds of traffic ever!) and some of the most beautiful bike riding trails around.

However, we do have our share of heartache.

I’ve lost count of all the stray cats, most barely surviving on the scraps of food they find and the kindness of busy people who take the time to feed them.

Enter Little Mommy Cat, the feisty, but sweet girl who appeared on our doorstep a year+ ago with her brother, both emaciated. Like all of the other strays, we started feeding them. They would disappear for days then reappear intermittently, always looking thin but determined. Little Mommy got pregnant twice and after many fruitless searches, we were never able to locate her kittens. It broke my heart knowing they were out there without anyone to feed or protect them. And even though she seemed tough, there is only so much a small stray cat can do.

This summer she got pregnant a third time. This time I was determined to find her kittens no matter what. We followed her repeatedly across the road to our neighbors barn but she would never lead us to her hiding spot. Several evenings when our neighbors were not home, my daughters and I would search their barn. My older daughter would shine the flashlight from her iPhone while I searched every crack, crevice and hay stack, while my younger daughter, who is afraid of spiders (ha) would keep watch outside, warning us each time she saw an oncoming car. [And yes I do believe that might be considered breaking and entering but the door was unlocked, so..].

After 2 weeks of ardent searching, we finally found them. She had made a nest in the corner of the barn. Six, 2-week old kittens, hiding in plain sight on the floor of the barn where 75 + cows walked, ate and slept. It amazed me that one had not accidentally stepped on and killed one.

That evening we had 6 beautiful two week old kittens in our house. *heavy sigh*

My daughters were thrilled. KITTENS. However, I felt my usual range of emotions: exhausted, overwhelmed and yes, also KITTENS. I am human of course.

The next few weeks were fun. We layered the floor of our guest bathroom with soft blankets and cat toys. We kept them isolated with their mom so she had a quiet place to feed them and rest. Every evening we would let them explore and play.

If six kittens sounds like a lot, let me reassure you. IT IS A LOT. A lot of fun but also a lot of work.

______________________________________________

That was 4 weeks ago.

Today they are 6 weeks old and running and jumping and playing and so much cuteness. They are the most adorably sweet kittens I have ever seen. And I am not biased at all.

But unfortunately it’s not fair to keep six, ever-growing kittens locked up in a small guest bath all day long. They have outgrown the room and need space to exercise and play. They need forever homes.

I posted photos of them on social media (IG, FB and twitter]. I shared photos and videos with people I work with and I even stopped a man in the cat food aisle at Target to show him how cute they were.  I am not proud to admit that I did this, but he was sweet and actually considered taking one. Still,  I was unable to find homes for any of them. *even heavier sigh*

We always knew we could take them to a shelter but still, I was hopeful I would be able to find them homes myself.

From day one, I decided we would keep the mom because I knew she would be considered un-adoptable. No one ever wants a grown cat, especially when they can have a kitten instead.  So for 4 very long weeks we tried to make it work. Although she was friendly around people, she became very aggressive and defensive around our other pets, repeatedly attacking our older cat and dog. But 2 years of barely surviving had hardened her.

This week, I finally made the extremely difficult decision to give her up. 😦

The plan is to take her to the shelter [along with her kittens] and hope with every ounce of my heart that a kind person will see through her tough exterior and give her the loving home she deserves. Even as I write this, my heart is breaking. Because even though we’ve only had her in our home for a short time, I know her tough exterior is just that: a wall she created to protect herself out of the need to survive. I also know that underneath lies a beautifully sweet animal that is so deserving of kind and loving home.

And as horrible as I feel about giving her up, I know that is just how life is. Each one of us does what we can to make the world a better place. We help each other out. We volunteer our time. We rescue stray dogs and cats.  Even if it’s just one small gesture, we do what we can and hope someone else comes along and picks it up from where we left off.

Life is sort of like passing the baton. You pass the baton to the next person and hope they’ll keep it going. You hope they’ll pay it forward too and help the next person (or animal) who is in need.

____________________________________________

This weekend we are taking Little Mommy and her kittens to a wonderful shelter in Baltimore. Unfortunately, we have gone through this process before. We know the shelter staff are kind and that all of them will be safe. We’ve done all we can do and now it’s time to pass the baton.  All of the kittens are healthy and sweet.  We know that anyone who is lucky enough to adopt one will have a loving and affectionate friend for the rest of their life. And they are still young enough where they have a really good chance of being adopted.

So this weekend we’ll make the hour long drive to the shelter. My daughters and I will cry as we attempt to say goodbye to each one. Our hearts will break when it’s finally time to leave. The drive back home will seem even longer. I’ll stop along the way to get them ice cream in the hopes of cheering them up. But it won’t make a difference.  When we return home, we’ll all cry again because the house feels so empty. Each time we use the guest bathroom, we’ll remember how excited they would get each time we came home and opened the door, and we’ll feel sad all over again.

We hope that some kind person at the SPCA will watch over them until they find homes. And I hope that one kind stranger, an angel perhaps, will see Little Mommy cat and decide that she is the one they want and that she deserves a loving forever home, too.

mommy-cat-sept-20162

If you are reading this and think you would like to adopt either the mom or one of her kittens [or if you have any questions at all] please contact me ASAP. Thank you.

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Love (Sex)

 My own random thoughts, silly and serious,

on two of my favorite subjects:

love and sex.

She’s only beautiful
if you’re wildly in love with her.
Otherwise, she’s just another girl.
___

Sex so good, your penis gets up an hour before you do and makes us both breakfast.

___

Maybe she writes about love so much because that’s the only thing that really matters.

___

The more you care about someone, the further you should push them away.

I just pushed this guy off a cliff.

I bet I really liked him a lot.

___

Spend the entire night with me, talking and kissing and snuggling in bed,

without trying to have sex with me, so I know it’s really real.

___

Earth Day Tip:

Show her you love her and the Earth by giving her a handwritten love letter on a recycled paper towel,

then use it to clean up the mess after sex. Xx

___

You can’t fit a million memories into one goodbye.

And it’s equally impossible to imagine a million surprises

hidden behind one new hello.

___

You’ll fall for her and she’ll completely fall for you.

You’ll break her heart and she’ll completely break yours, too. That’s just how love is.

___

I can ignore you so hard, you’ll think we actually had sex.

___

When we meet that one person

who has the ability to make us shine,

we become extraordinary together.

___

Mentioning sex in a conversation with a guy is like talking to your dog while holding a bone in your hand.

Both of them ONLY HEAR BONE.

___

It might be love when he tells you about all of the places he wants to take you

and all of the things he wants to show you.

___

The Bachelorette is so realistic.

I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve dated who’ve told me they were in love with BEFORE we had sex.

SO, SO MANY.

___

Ask any guy and most will have a story of how he was in love with an amazing girl —

And ultimately how he lost her.

___

Before falling in love, people should be forced to sky dive out of an airplane.

But only 23% of the parachutes actually work.

___

I used to think I wanted to be in a relationship.

Now my only goal is making sure I don’t text the other person more than he texts me.

___

I just told this guy he was too young for me to date.

He laughed and then I laughed and then we started making out on his Batman bed sheets.

___

In the story of us, we love.
We fall apart. We walk away.
Days, weeks and months pass until finally we discover
We could not live without each other.

 ___

It’s not really love unless he invites your dog to stay over, too.

___

Men are hard-wired to rush through sex.

But it’s so much hotter and sexier if you can make the girl so crazy that she initiates everything.

___

If you don’t think about her enough to want to

text her and talk to her at least once, every single day,

then don’t even fucking bother.

___

If you really want her badly enough,

you’ll find a way to have her.

___

If I ever say I love you while we’re fucking,

it’s only because I love you while we’re fucking.

___

I tell young guys I can’t date them because of their age.

They laugh and I laugh and 2 weeks later I’m buying a dress for the homecoming dance.

___

It doesn’t really matter if it’s your first time

or the last one you’ll ever have.

Nothing will ever fuck with your head more than love.

___

Relationship advice:

Don’t ever chase a man.
The one who knows your worth will never let you go.

___

All women really want is to be treated like your wallet or cell phone:
For you to freak the fuck out if you ever think you lost us.

 

___
Dating Tip: When a guy sends you a confusing text, ask 3-5 strangers
in the nearest bar/restaurant/coffee shop to help you interpret it.
___
A person who doesn’t believe that a man can be beautiful,
has never been wildly in love before.

___

A guy told me I can borrow his juicer.
He said it’s great for veggies and even better with fruits like pineapple.
PINEAPPLE? WE ALL KNOW HE JUST WANTS SEX.
___
There’s really only one quality a guy needs to have
that can almost guarantee a girl will fall for him:
He only wants her.
___
Prison Sex and the City
___
  
The first thing I ever said to him was I love you.
Because sometimes your heart knows before you do.
 ___
My go to move is not texting you back because I read guys love the chase but also
because I may have deleted your number. OMG PLEASE TEXT ME AGAIN.
___
I will open my heart to you.
I will hand you the moon, the stars and the sun.
And just as quickly and without notice, I will take them all away.
___
He fell in love with everything that you could never be.
In a world full of ordinary,
he fell in love with me.
___
The 1st month of a relationship is the best.
Everything after that is like knowing an asteroid is going to hit but not knowing exactly when.
___
The right guy will appreciate that there are times when I have to be alone,
just as much as the times when I desperately need to be with him.
___
Dating Tip: Invite a guy you just met to a wedding.
During the ceremony, whisper “I do too.”
Also, don’t wear any underwear. GUYS LOVE THAT.
___
We’re so afraid of doing things that make us feel good.
Eat cake.
Drink wine.
Have sex with a beautiful stranger.
We only get one life. Live it.
 
___
PS: I have never had sex with a beautiful stranger because
I’M NOT A WHORE.
___
The only drawback to having sex on a regular basis is daydreaming about sex all day
because you’re having sex on a regular basis.
___
Every once in a very rare while, two hearts become so entangled
it becomes completely impossible to separate them.
___
True or False: If he had sex with you, it means he cares.
True. He cares about whether or not you’ll have sex with him again.
NEXT QUESTION.
 
___
She climbs into bed, wrapping herself around him
Her head on his chest
So she can hear his heart beating
As the rest of the world fades away.
___
Speed dating: Because I only need 7 minutes to figure out I don’t like you
but I get to show off my pretty new dress to 47 people all at once.
___
Maybe we weren’t soul mates
But we fell in love anyway
Drawn together like the moon pulls the tides
And every moment after that was special.
___
Relationship goal: To never fall asleep during sex.
___
Make me fall in love with you, every time we are together.
And if you can do that, the rest will all fall into place.
___
Sometimes I get worried & ask the guy I’m dating
if I’m too dirty for him.
He laughs and I laugh and then we finish having sex in the barn.
___
I suspect that people who genuinely and passionately love each other,
probably hurt each other the most deeply.
___
Relationship goal: Become the guy.
*Do nothing, make zero effort and still get sex.
___
A fun thing to do when you’re dating someone new
is to take a weekend trip together,
get into a drunken argument, then cry all the way home.
___
It’s a beautiful notion to think you can be friends with an ex-love.
But if they were meant to be just a friend,
you would have never fallen in love with them.
___
The Top 4 Diets:
– The South Beach
– The I Can’t Afford Food Diet
– The Heartbreak Diet
– The I Met a New Guy & We’re Having Tons of Sex Diet
___
It’s very easy to say I love you when you don’t really mean it.
And almost impossible to say when you actually do.
___
I already know you’re going to break my heart.
And even that’s not enough to stop me.
___
OMG I LOVE YOU AND I MISS YOU SO MUCH PLEASE COME BACK.
– Girls, 5 minutes after they’ve broken up with you 17 times.
 
___
Say ‘I love you’ as many times as you want
but until you give me a hoodie
and leave your toothbrush at my house, YOUR WORDS MEAN NOTHING.
___
Sure, we could end this now
but then we’d miss out on all the fun parts like the crying,
the make up sex and traumatizing each other for life.
___
I don’t believe that you truly love someone
until you’ve laughed together, experienced pain together
and shared a part of your lives with each other.
___
Do yourself a favor.
Delete his phone number, put on something pretty and finally say yes to the guy
who’s actually wanted you all along. 
___
When your heart is completely focused on something,
everything else in your life becomes invisible.
___
Love her anyway.
___
We fell in love for all the wrong reasons
In the most beautiful, tragic, extraordinary way.
Anything else would have been an impossibility.
___
You could see 50 Shades of Grey
and watch others have fake movie sex.
Or you could go out, drink wine and
HAVE ACTUAL SEX WITH A REAL PERSON
___
Falling in love is the best way to end up
hating each other for the rest of your lives.
– Inspirational
___
One of the biggest flaws of the mind is
believing you’ll never get over someone.
The biggest flaw of the heart is not allowing yourself to.
___
At some point my life turned into eat, pray, love.
But more like drink, fuck, love.
Or fuck you, I loved you and now I hate you.
One of those.
___
Fall in love with someone emotionally unavailable at least once in your life
so you get the full experience of
what true heartbreak is like.
___
Maybe the true definition of love is they can still see all of the good in you,
even after you’ve screwed up
and they still love you anyway.
___
Sometimes it feels like the universe is trying to keep us apart.
But some stars were destined to collide.
No matter what.
___
Falling in – and out – of love is completely uncontrollable.
That’s the tragic beauty of love.
___
I think we are taught to love a certain way
But the best kind of love is one that makes you see,
feel and think about the world differently.
___
If you think saying I love you is difficult,
just wait until the day you have to tell that same person
that you stopped.
___
I had a sex dream about you last night.
And now I really want a hoodie.
___
 If you love someone, set them free.
Then keep sending ‘love you’ texts to remind them because
maybe they have amnesia and forgot to come back.
___
The best way to get over someone is to drink until you can’t walk
then throw yourself off a cliff.
I haven’t worked out all the details yet.
___
Many things will change your life.
But nothing changes you more beautifully than finding love.
___
 I hit a patch of ice and almost crashed my car
And my entire life flashed before my eyes.
OMG WHY DIDNT I HAVE MORE SEX WHEN I HAD THE CHANCE?
___
Every person deserves that one intensely passionate love affair,
that no matter how long it lasts,
remains forever imprinted in their heart.
___
Love is finding that one person
who you connect with
Who inspires you to become a better version of yourself.
___
If you get drunk and start crying over how your cat died
you can usually get out of the whole
“He bought me dinner and now I owe him sex” thing.
___
There’s a reason you let each other go.
Embrace it, move on knowing the person you were
truly meant to be with is out there waiting for you.
___
If you don’t follow up your “Good morning beautiful” with
a “Goodnight beautiful” text,
THEN NO, I WON’T BE YOUR STUPID FUCKING VALENTINE.
___
When you love someone completely, the entire world resides within their heart.
It’s not something you can explain. It’s something you feel.
___
Love is amazing. It can change your life 100%
And those who don’t understand that are the ones who’ve
never experienced that kind of love.
___
I’ve learned true love is seeing a broken person clearly,
knowing every ugly thing about them,
But still loving them beyond comprehension.
___
True love is when you accidentally break my heart.
But always finding a way to fix it over and over again.
___
Sext: I think I’m finally done crying.
___
I will always be that foolish girl
Who still believes in love.
___
It’s not really love unless you’re scarred for life.
And if you’re both scarred for life, then you’re probably soul mates.
___
I only tried ruining your life because
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
___
The less you know about someone, the easier it is to love them.
___
I will love you to the moon and back,
but mostly to my bed, then in the shower
then maybe the floor then back to the bed then…
Sexting is hard.

___

In a world where horrible things happens every day,

I want to believe in happy endings

and I need to believe in love.

So I guess I just will.

The Kiss - Gustav Klimt

The Kiss – Gustav Klimt

Unhinged

 

A strange thing happens when I cry
My eyes turn a dark blue green
And it’s impossible to hide the fact that I’ve been crying

 

What is it about the feeling of love that makes us feel invincible

When suddenly everything in the world just glows
Including you
And when we lose that feeling of love – real or not- it seems like the entire universe crumbles and falls apart around you
And for a short time it seems nothing can make you smile
Because all you feel is the loss of something missing

The ache of emptiness that temporarily consumes you

When you cry so much that your heart and your head just ache


There are some moments of sadness when it feels like you’ll never recover
But deep down inside you know you will

Because you always do

But in that moment you feel like you want to disappear
And you replay it all over and over again in your head
Wondering what you did wrong and wishing you had done something differently
Worrying about the most pointless things
Like maybe you weren’t good enough
And how you spent hours preparing and trying to make everything perfect
When the reality is none of those things matter
Not one little bit
It doesn’t matter how beautiful he thinks you are or how perfect your body is or is not or if you or how much you care or how hard you tried
The truth is you probably didn’t do anything wrong and sometimes you can do everything right and it still doesn’t matter
Because it has nothing to do with you and absolutely everything to do with the other person
You have no control over what the other person says or thinks or does
No control over what they do or if they decide to leave

And I understand why men think women are crazy sometimes
Because love makes us crazy
It makes you say and do unthinkable things because you can’t possibly think clearly when you are in that state
When someone you cared about walks out of your life forever
When something that was meaningful and important is suddenly
Gone
You become unhinged
It’s like stopping your car in the middle of the road or reading a book only halfway through
You can’t abruptly slam on the brakes and stop somewhere in the middle
You can’t make sense of something when a huge part of it is missing
You have to go all the way through and complete the entire journey
Love and relationships need to run their natural course

In the end you have to accept that there are certain things that you’ll never understand
Some people do things and you have no control over their actions or why they did it or the outcome
All you can do is control how you think and how you react

And it’s not that much different than being in an accident when you’ve been thrown from your car and you’re in a situation that’s suddenly unrecognizable and foreign and confusing

It’s impossible to brace for the impact

And it takes time to recover and to make sense of something you don’t recognize or fully understand
All you can do is to allow yourself time to grieve and heal


And you know you’ll recover because you’ve felt this way before and you’ll feel this way again

But that doesn’t make it easier

Because you only meet amazing people a very few rare times throughout your life

People who have the ability to touch you in some invisible way, who change you forever

And no matter how many times you’ve imagined it happening, it’s always devastating and it always hurts like hell

Because you can’t walk into someone’s life and share a part of it, then just walk out without feeling some kind of loss

People are not cars that you take out for a test drive

A persons life isn’t a revolving door where you can swing in and out without affecting them in some way

And your presence – and eventual absence- in someone’s life does matter

It changes us in some small or significant way

And the people we cared about and maybe even loved – even for a short time –  in some small way, stay with us forever

“Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”

Louis de Bernieres

Unhinged: Random Thoughts on Love, Loss and Pain – Just some random personal thoughts strewn together.

 

The Affair

As her date droned on, she noticed a group of guys laughing and drinking beer a few feet away. The bar was loud and crowded. She couldn’t make out their faces. Except for one.

Her date asked her a question.

“What?” All she could hear was this handsome stranger laughing a few feet away.

She caught him staring at her. So she smiled back. And no sooner had her date left to make a phone call, she looked up to see his face smiling down at her.

He asked her her name. Before she could answer, he said “You’re beautiful.”

Soon they were walking down the street together, huddled close in the winter wind. They passed a group of loud girls, smoking and an old man walking his dog.

He grabbed her hand and led her across the street and into another bar. His hand felt warm and strong.

“Two vodka tonics” he said to the bartender. Despite the toasty fire crackling in the fireplace, the bar was practically empty.

He said something funny and she laughed. Suddenly his hand was on her waist, gently pulling her closer. She thought he might kiss her. But instead he leaned over and whispered into her ear.

She’d always been attracted to quirky. But only when it was perfectly mixed with intelligence and wit and charm and of course humor.

And he was all of the above.

And the fact that he was tall was the cherry on the all ready delicious cake.

Two hours later, they were in his apartment. He offered to take her coat. She politely declined.

“I really should go,” she said. As she started to leave, he leaned over and kissed her. Soft and slow at first, then deeper and passionately. She wanted to tear off her coat and throw her clothes on the floor. But instead she kissed him one last time and left.

The 18 minute drive home felt like an hour.

Two nights later she was in his apartment again. A bottle of Patron sat on his countertop next to a basket of fresh raspberries. How did he know those were her favorites?

He was wearing dark jeans and a long sleeved tee and a boyish grin. He opened the tequila and she did a shot to take the edge off. They drank and talked and kissed. He told her about his family. She talked about her new job. They kissed and talked and drank some more. His lips were on her neck. Her hands were on his waist.

She knew she wanted to sleep with him but there were so many reasons not to. But maybe even more reasons why she should. His lips tasted like tequila and raspberries and perfection. He pulled her closer and she whispered into his ear “Where’s your room?”

A candle was burning on his nightstand. His room smelled like red velvet cake. His bed sheets were dark gray. She could hear music playing from the apartment next door.

His curtains were slightly drawn and she could see the moon outside his window. He kissed her as she started to unbutton his pants. Their hands were everywhere. She could feel the weight of his body on hers and every doubt she had disappeared from her mind. Every movement felt electric. The candle flickered next to the bed. He felt perfect and delicious and intoxicating.

At 6:15am the alarm went off on her cell phone. He helped her locate her clothes as she hurriedly dressed. He followed her to the door. All he was wearing were a pair of dark blue gym shorts. His chest was smooth and perfect. She kissed him goodbye.

They started meeting 2 or 3 times a week. Sometimes it would be at her house and sometimes, his. They’d snuggle on the couch and watch a movie, but mostly they would talk and drink and make out for hours before falling into a heap in bed. And in the morning he would always tell her how beautiful her eyes were.

It was easy and fun and exhilarating and uncomplicated. Weeks and months passed. Sexy texts and flirty conversations. She knew it wouldn’t last – they both knew – but it felt good now. And he was smart and sexy and he was so drawn to her and their bodies fit so perfectly together. The sex was addictive. She knew she couldn’t say no.

Then something happened. It doesn’t matter what. Because something always happens. He started to get too close and he said something that hurt her feelings. And she held back because she knew it could never be anymore than it was. He pushed her away and she pushed him away further. She imagined she would never see his beautiful face ever again so she busied herself with work and meaningless things.

The weather grew colder and she would lie awake at night thinking about him. He imagined her with someone else and it drove him insane. But neither of them contacted each other. They were both too stubborn and practical, and she was so busy. But not too busy to lie awake at night imagining all the nights they had spent together in her bed.

And he stayed busy too. But he could still smell her on his pillows and he imagined her body wrapped around his.

And the days and weeks passed and it started to get easier. She started to forget the little things. Like how his skin smelled and the way he would hold her so close, wrapping his arms around her waist when they were lying in bed.

One night, around 1:24am or something like that, he sent her a text.

“I miss you.”

They saw each other again after that. It turns out, it wasn’t an affair. It lasted over a year and a half. And each time he would walk through her door, without a word, he would  immediately grab her and kiss her like he hadn’t seen her in a hundred years.  It was sexy and passionate and she never wanted it to end.

He made her feel beautiful.

Then something else happened. Maybe she met someone else. Or maybe he did.  It doesn’t really matter. Because something else always happens. And so it ended again and they went their separate ways, as people always do.

And sometimes when she is out with another guy, she gets distracted and finds herself searching for his face in the crowd.

And sometimes when he is out with his friends, he’ll see a girl with long blonde hair and he’ll hear her laugh and he imagines it is her.

Image #1047511 by korshun on Favim.com

Love in the Rain | via Tumblr – image #1047511 by korshun on Favim.com

Broken Hearts

I remember the first time I ever had my heart broken. Jay was tall, incredibly handsome and a perfect gentleman. He sent me roses every single month for the entire year we were together. He bought me my first bottle of expensive perfume (a scent I still love and wear). He sent me cards and wrote me beautiful love notes. I rarely save anything from old loves, but I still have a few cards he sent me. In one, he wrote “I love you, I want you, I need you.”  It’s still one of the most romantic things a man has ever given me. We were both barely 18. It’s crazy to think that a guy that young could be that thoughtful and romantic. But he was.

It was an idyllic first love. He completely adored me and we had an amazing summer together. But like most first loves, it came to an end.  The week before Christmas, he came to my house to drop off my gift. And as he stood in the doorway, somehow I knew he had cheated on me the weekend before. I’m not sure how girls know these things but sometimes you can just feel them in your bones. He admitted he had slept with someone else and I fell apart. I cried for weeks. I didn’t think I would ever get over him.

But I did.

But I can’t listen to The Payola’s You’re the Only Love without remembering that summer.

There are only two other times I ever felt that kind of hurt. And both occurred in more recent years.

The most memorable one and the most painful by far was three summers ago. I’ve written about it here, so I won’t rehash it all again. But instead of crying in bed for weeks (okay, I may have done that, too) I was more like Diane Keaton’s character in Something’s Gotta Give, sitting at my laptop and writing it all out. Writing and crying. I literally wrote – and cried –  for weeks, maybe months. I was completely inconsolable. I remember feeling a genuine physical ache that literally lasted for months. It felt like the pain would never go away.

But eventually, it did.

It’s impossible to go through life without experiencing loss. At some point, we all have our hearts broken. And no matter how many times it happens, it’s one of the few things in life that never seems to get any easier.

It always fucking hurts.

And it’s not something you can prevent although some people think you can control it. A man once told me he would never fall in love with anyone ever again, after having his heart broken by someone else. Then he fell in love with me. And I didn’t mean to hurt him (no one ever plans these things) but after a few years, I decided I needed to end it. The relationship had taken a toll on me, both physically and emotionally, and uncertainty in any relationship can be just as damaging as infidelity. Sometimes it feels like if we end things first, that will make it easier or less painful. But the truth is if you still care about the person at all, it’s never an easy thing to do. And even though I still cared about him deeply, I knew it needed to end.

I spent months questioning my decision. Looking back, I know it was for the best, but at the time, I was too immersed in mixed emotions to see it.  It’s almost impossible to separate logic from love when you are completely caught up in the middle of it.

Falling in – and out – of love is completely uncontrollable. You can’t stop your heart from feeling something it feels.  And you can’t make someone feel something if they don’t. That’s the tragic beauty of love.

But what if both people still care? What if we held onto that person, instead of letting go and decided to work it out before throwing it all away? That only works if both people want it badly enough and are committed to each other.

Is it easier to walk away and start over fresh with someone new? Or do you stay and try to lovingly mend all of the broken pieces?

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling

of letting go and holding onHenry Ellis

Love is the most amazing feeling in the world. So it amazes me how some people are so quick to throw it away.  Once a man has captured my heart, I am completely devoted to him. I have lived long enough to know that finding love is rare and I don’t think you should ever throw it away.

Everything could be falling apart around you, but if you have someone who loves you, somehow it makes everything else seem better. Having that one special person on your side can make all the difference. And when they suddenly disappear from your life, it can feel like your entire world has come to an end.

But it doesn’t.

 

Heart break is inevitable. You can’t stop it from happening if it wasn’t meant to be. And you can’t put all of the pieces back together after everything has fallen apart. And it’s pointless to hold onto to something when the other person has already let go.

Life doesn’t end just because love sometimes does.

That’s when letting go gracefully seems to be the only option.

And no matter how much it hurts when you are going through it, we all heal and we all move past it and we all survive. But even better than that is that we always find love again.

Everyone survives a broken heart.  But it still hurts like hell.

After my divorce, I said I would never marry ever again. But the truth is I still believe in true love. I still believe in the fairy tale. I still want to lie in bed with someone at night and kiss and hold hands and make love and fall asleep together.  I want to fall in love with every part of his mixed up soul. And I’ll always believe that the only reason we were placed on this earth is to love and to be loved.

I will never stop believing that love is the most amazing thing in this world.

But just to be safe, I think I might sit this next game out.  ♥

Image from Pinterest.

Image from Pinterest.

 

 

 

Old Man

The old man next door lives in a beautiful old brick house. The 3rd floor attic windows are framed with white curtains.

Each day as I drink my morning coffee, I can see him out my window, as he fills the many bird feeders in his yard. He comes out the side door and walks slowly to the old red wooden shed a few yards away from his house. He carries a large green bucket back and forth, filling it with bird seed.  He does this several times, as he has many feeders in his yard. I have never seen his face but he has a full head of thick white hair. He stands about 6 feet tall, but it’s hard to tell because he is slightly hunched over. He always wears a tall pair of black Wellingtons pulled up over dark gray pants and a plain brown coat.

Each morning when I open my back doors to walk the dog, I can hear all of the birds chirping happily, loudly.

The white flowered curtains in the attic windows suggest a woman lived there once, too. But I have never seen anyone but him. And because I don’t know anything about this man, I imagined his and her story in my head.

They fell in love at fifteen. High school sweethearts.  He thought she was the prettiest girl he had ever seen. Small and fragile. He waited patiently until after they both graduated to ask her father for her hand in marriage.  Very much in love, they dreamed of starting a family. They saved enough money and were able to buy a big beautiful brick house in the country. They imagined filling each room with small voices and little feet running and playing in the garden.

They tried for many years to have children, but were unsuccessful. They later found out she was unable to have children. Eventually they stopped trying. There would be no children to wake them up each Christmas morning. No birthday cakes to bake. No tiny hands to pick flowers from the garden on Mothers Day.

The years made her more fragile, but yet she spent her days outside, lovingly tending and planting her favorite flowers as he built beautiful bird houses from recycled old wood to hang in all of the trees.

Spring became their favorite time of year and they would spend their days outside, enjoying the beautiful sanctuary they had created together.

The years went by and she fell ill. In her final days, he never left her bedside. He hired a nurse to care for her in their home. One night, as he admired her peacefully asleep, she slipped away from him quietly, as he gently held her thin hand.

He retired and kept to himself, spending his days alone. Sometimes reading, but mostly looking out the window, watching the birds in their weed ridden garden. His nights spent warding off insomnia.

And now he gets up with the sun each day, and sometimes before the sun. He sits on an old painted bench next to the back door, resting his weary hands on the worn wood. He puts on his Wellingtons and his old brown coat and goes outside to feed the birds.

The garden is overgrown with leaves and vines, but spring is just around the corner. Soon he’ll be busy pulling and tending and planting again.

I saw the old man yesterday. The sun was out and the air was crisp. A bag of soil, a watering can and some gardening tools, all lined up carefully next to the shed.

Each spring he does his best to restore the garden to it’s original beauty, knowing it will never be the same.

He does it because it reminds him of her.

But it will never be as beautiful as the woman whose hands can no longer hold his.

11Saint Luke Arch Vertical

bird-pine-warbler-yellow-beauty-travis-truelove

Pretty things

December 2012: One of the low points in my life. I had lost my job earlier that year and now it was almost Christmas.

I wanted to hide away from the world. Not only because of the embarrassment and shame that accompany hard times, but mostly to focus on getting my life back together.

I took my daughters to the Family Dollar Store to buy some packing tape. Possibly the most depressing store ever.

I found two kinds of tape. One was $2.99 and the other was $1. I joked to the clerk that I was too poor to afford the $2.99 roll as I paid for the $1 roll. After we left, my older daughter (who was only 10 at the time) said “Mommy! Don’t tell people we’re poor!” Clearly, I had embarrassed her.

A week earlier, I created an eBay account. Being out of work meant I had to start selling some personal things. In just one week I had sold two items. I was excited, until I got to the post office and spent $18 for postage on an item I had only charged a $3 shipping fee for. Live and learn.

As soon as I got home, I immediately readjusted the shipping fees on all my other items.

Which brings me to the rings. Years before, my ex-husband had given me a beautiful 3-stone engagement ring. One large center diamond, representing the present and two smaller diamonds on either side, representing the past and the future.  The other was a beautiful custom made engagement ring given to me by a man I dated for 4 years after my divorce. A beautiful 1.5 carat cushion cut diamond, surrounded by beaded diamonds and a diamond wedding band to match.  It was beautiful. I tried to return it to him after we broke up, but he insisted I keep it. Both gifts from men who had loved me at one time. Now gone, but with memories still attached.

I never imagined I would have to sell such things, but I never imagined a lot of the hard times I’ve faced in my life. Sometimes things just happen. Reluctantly, I posted both sets on eBay. The custom set alone was worth well over $5,500, but I asked for less than half.

Being new to eBay, I assumed no one would buy them, so I took them to a local jewelry store. The appraiser took all four rings (two diamond engagement rings, and two bands) to a room at the back of the store. A few minutes later, he returned and offered me only a small fraction of what they were worth. I knew his offer was unfair, but before I could think, I heard myself say “Okay.”

As I left, I suddenly felt sad. It wasn’t that I would miss the rings (I hadn’t worn them in years), but that each one had a string of memories attached. Like the warm spring day when my ex-husband got down on one knee to propose, and all I could think about was how corny he looked. (Maybe I’m just an awful person.)

Or the December day, when I was pregnant with my first daughter, and lost my engagement ring. We had been Christmas shopping all day. I never realized it was gone until after we’d returned home. We spent hours that evening, driving from store to store, retracing every step and scanning the parking lots, searching but never found it. The next day, on Christmas eve morning, I took the dog outside for a walk.  And there in the grass, reflecting in the morning sun was my ring.

Or the day my ex-boyfriend threw the ring box at me and said “Here. I got you something.”  A gorgeous engagement ring, custom made just for me and how he threw the box at me. So terribly romantic. Anyway…

I had always imagined passing my rings and all my other pretty things, down to my daughters. Not that I owned anything spectacular, but each piece had meaning.

And now they were gone. And that made me sad.

But when you’ve been unemployed for 6 months, and it’s 3 weeks before Christmas, diamond rings don’t seem all that important anymore. Not to me, anyway. I used the cash the man at the jewelry store had given me to buy Christmas presents for my girls.

Gifts for two deserving little girls who still believed in and were expecting the arrival of Santa? Or a few rings?

To me, the answer was obvious.

To most people, a ring is a symbol of everlasting love. But to me, a ring is simply another pretty thing that you can wear. Perhaps nothing more.

I’d give up a hundred rings to have just one person who won’t abandon me when things get tough. Someone who will always be there to support me, no matter what.

No material object – and certainly not any kind of ring – can ever replace that.

I’d rather have a man strong enough to hold me when it feels like my entire world is falling apart. Or when it feels like I’m falling apart.

I’d rather have the love and support of my best friend and lover holding my hand, every single day. Because rings and objects don’t mean anything when you’re alone.

In the end, all that really matters is having the people who you love, standing beside you.

And no piece of jewelry could ever be worth more than that.

 

Photo credit: the-collectiveonline.com

Photo credit: the-collectiveonline.com

 

The Player

“I was a drunken whore master.”

These were Todd’s exact words to me, describing himself. [This is a post about him, a guy I’ve known for years, who repeatedly tried to sleep with me and repeatedly failed.]

I was impressed with his honesty. It also made me laugh. It was funny.

And also sad.

But there are thousands of Todd’s. They are everywhere.

Guys who would fuck any girl who is willing to put out.

And according to Todd, most girls are easy prey. All he’d have to do was buy them a few drinks and tell them they were pretty.

Two shots later and BOOM. She’s naked in your bed.

“So easy”, he’d say.

But empty. Sad. Pathetic.

Todd slept with 2, 3, sometimes even 4 girls, in a single week. Leaving a trail of broken hearts and some very confused and upset women, along the way.

He didn’t care. He didn’t want any girl. He just wanted to get laid. He talked about it as casually as discussing the weather.

Then one day, after a bad day at work, he stopped at a bar. He’d stopped there a 100 times before. He had seen her there a few times.

Sometimes they’d even make small talk. That particular night, the bar was empty. He moved a seat closer.

He bought her a drink.

She smiled and thanked him. One hour turned into two… Two drinks turned into… many.

He couldn’t remember the details. “All I remember is her….”

That night, Todd took her back to his apartment. On the way, he stopped at a liquor store. He ran inside and minutes later, returned with an expensive bottle of red wine.

“I don’t care for red,” she said.

“Should I run in and get you a bottle of white?” he asked.

He aimed to please. She politely declined. They left.

Todd had all the things you would imagine a Player to have: a brand new loaded BMW, a great apartment, an amazing job. And he was very attractive.

Short, dark hair. Perfectly dressed. Expensive jeans. A sexy, striped button down shirt. His eyes were dark. Smoldering.

He stared at her. She knew exactly what he was thinking. 

He popped open the bottle of wine.

She was nervous. She guzzled it to calm her nerves.

They made small talk. He moved closer. She darted away. She needed more wine.

She looked in his refrigerator. It was overflowing with beer and little else.

More wine. Flirting. Kissing…

Two hours later, they were naked in his bed. A huge beautiful, antique-looking wooden mirror leaned up against his wall. An odd piece for a Player to have. It showed he had dimension. Some class. An appreciation for beautiful pieces of old furniture.

She liked it.

She grabbed her black dress and heels, got dressed and left. She needed to go home.

He stood in the doorway, barely clothed and watched her walk to her car. He missed her before she had even left.

Todd stopped seeing other women. All he could think about was her.

She wasn’t the most beautiful girl. But she was quite striking. Soft blonde hair that grazed her shoulders. Pretty green eyes.

Her body bore the faint scars of having children. It was not perfect. He didn’t care.

He thought she was beautiful.

And she was smart, funny, cute.

Irresistible.

He couldn’t stop thinking about her. He wanted to see her again. He needed to see her again.

Soon.

He couldn’t wait. He texted her and emailed her. Sent an extravagant bouquet of calla lilies and white roses to her at work.

What the fuck had happened to him?

He didn’t even recognize himself.

Soon they were seeing each other frequently. The sex was amazing. Electric.

But it was more than that.

He was falling in love with her. And she felt the same.

Todd had never been the romantic type. But one night he told her: “I care for you so much, it scares me. I want you to know how much I love you.”

She was touched. “You are amazing, Todd.”

He replied, “No I am NOT amazing. When I look at you, all these words just come pouring out of me. I’m not amazing. I’m just being genuine. This is what you do to me. This is how you make me feel.”


If they are lucky, even the most promiscuous man (or woman), will meet a person who will change them.

Turn their world upside-fucking-down.

The trick is finding a person who will reciprocate that all-consuming love.

A person who earns it. Respects and protects it.

Makes you feel like anything is possible.

If you find that… hold onto it.

Never let it go.

[Update: A few months later, this girl dumped Todd and completely broke his heart. Perhaps proving that karma does in fact exist. I don’t know. It’s not for me to say.]

The Taste Of You #MMCM Mirtha Michelle: Mirtha Michel, Michel Castro, Letters

The Taste Of You #MMCM Mirtha Michelle: Mirtha Michel, Michel Castro, Letters

 

 

Knowing When to Walk Away

He was a decent husband.  He was successful. He was a good provider.

Each time I came home with a pitiful new stray animal, be begrudgingly accepted it into our home.

But he was too busy with work and hating his job to appreciate the beautiful home I had made for us.

He chose working overtime over spending time with our 2 beautiful daughters.

After Hurricane Katrina, my dear friend Rose and I packed a tent and drove her Avalanche to New Orleans to volunteer. The HSUS had turned an equestrian center outside of the city into the largest animal rescue facility to date. We set up our tent outside the humongous FEMA tent.  It reminded me of a giant circus tent. We woke each day at 5:30am, and by 8am, we were exploring the barren streets of New Orleans most devastated neighborhoods. Dumping giant bags of cat and dog food, leaving water and occasionally rescuing a stray dog or cat, when we were lucky.

Rose and I befriended two FEMA firefighters. Two men: one was married, one was not.

Ryan, the single one was adorable. A big friendly smile. And the fact that he was there to save animals was attractive to me, a fellow animal lover.

Ryan and I hit it off immediately. I told him about my 2 girls and husband back home. I even showed him the pictures of our happy little family.

He talked to me. He listened. He was interested in me. Something that was lacking in my marriage.

Each day, Rose and I spent every daylight hour searching the streets of New Orleans. We dumped food. Left water. Witnessed the devastation. Found dead animals. Found starving animals. We cried. And sometimes we would laugh at ourselves. And then we would cry even more. It was heartbreaking.

Each evening we would find our 2 new firefighter friends and drink beer. Compare stories. Feel sad. Drink more beer. And try to forget.

That week, Ryan and I became close. We bonded over our sadness. It was easy to be attracted to someone who was so attentive.

I had been feeling so unloved, so neglected at home for so long. The attention was nice. And he made it very clear that he wanted me.

I was married. Unhappily married. But still married. Rose was put off.

She was happily married. And she knew how unhappy I was.

She was sympathetic, but slightly judgmental.

I kissed Ryan that week. And even though we had many opportunities to, I never took it any farther than that. But technically, I cheated on my husband. In my eyes, even just kissing was cheating.

I felt like a horrible human being.

I’m not proud of what I did, but no one is perfect. Certainly not me.

Ten days later, my husband was waiting for me at the airport when I returned home. He was beaming with excitement. He had missed me. A lot. It showed.

I had not missed him.

It was not that I wanted to leave him for Ryan. In fact I wasn’t even sure if I was interested in Ryan at all. It was the fact that time away had made me realize I needed more.

I deserved more.

I was unhappy.

I desperately wanted to be happy again.

He could see from my face that things had changed between us. That week, I asked him for a divorce.

He fell apart.

He cried and begged for another chance.

I agreed and we saw yet another marriage counselor.

The fact is, we had gone to four different counselors over the years. We had even attended a Marriage Encounter weekend. The ME weekend was actually fun.

He and I bonded that weekend. It breathed a new life into our marriage. But that was only a temporary fix. Two weeks later, things were back to normal again. And normal for us meant he was never around. And when he was, he was miserable. And that made me miserable.

[2.5 years earlier]  We moved into our new home that Christmas. The house was completely empty. The heat was not working. It was cold and empty. But it was ours. We were happy. A new home. A new fresh start for us. A new chance to make things work.

I remember sitting in our living room a few weeks later. On our shabby old couch. The house was still bare. We had not purchased any new furniture yet.

He walked in the door from work. More complaints. He hated his job. It seemed that was all he ever wanted to talk about.

I asked him to sit down. I told him I was unhappy. I asked him for a divorce. He begged me to try. Again.

I agreed. Again.

We found yet another counselor. She suggested a trip. Maybe spending time together alone would help us?

We booked a hotel and drove to Florida. Two days before we left, 911 occurred. We thought about cancelling our trip but we decided to go anyway. The Disney parks were barren that week. The entire country was mourning the devastating losses of 911. We tried to enjoy ourselves.  We used wine to numb the pain.

We had dinner al fresco on Disney’s boardwalk one evening. It was a beautiful night. We laughed. We had wine. I felt happy.

A fortune teller had a small kiosk set up along the water. After dinner, he suggested I have a reading done. He knew my fascination with that sort of thing. She read my palm. She shuffled her Tarot cards. I giggled. It was the wine.

But the one thing I vividly recall her saying to me was: “You will have a daughter that is exactly like you.”

He and I had not had sex in ages. Sex had been the last thing on my mind in all those unhappy years.

After strolling along the moonlit boardwalk and more wine, we had sex that evening in our hotel room.

One month later, the pregnancy test came back positive.  I was shocked. How could I be pregnant? 

We only had sex once. One time in over a year. Maybe TWO YEARS? It had been so long, I had lost track.

It must be a sign. We were ecstatic to have a child.

We decided we would stay together and try to work things out. [end of flashback]

Things never did change. And 6 months after I returned from volunteering for Hurricane Katrina, we filed for divorced.

Looking back I know I gave him everything I could. I did everything in my power to make it work.

Counselors. The Marriage Encounter weekend. More counseling. More chances. More time…. More tries.

You get to a point when trying is all there is left.

At one time I adored him. But over the years, adoration turned into resentment.

I resented him for working so much. I resented his refusal to communicate. All he ever did was complain about work.

I resented him for not appreciating the beautiful family and home we had created.

But yet, I still tried and tried and tried again.

The saddest part is that I know he still loved me. But he stopped trying.

When I finally decided to walk away for good, I knew in my heart I had done everything in my power to make it work.

I also knew I no longer loved him. He stopped trying. He had destroyed the love I once had for him.

And when there is no love left, that’s when you know it’s time to gracefully walk away.