Saturday, August 13, 2016

He was not my son...

He was not my son. My sons are here with me, safe and sound. I know this. Except when I close my eyes, it is him.

It's my son who climbs all those stairs in the excitement to ride the tallest water slide in the world. It is my son who holds his brothers hand or high fives him because they are so excited. It is my son who negotiates with the slide attendant to try to ride together only to find out that because of the weight requirements they have to split up. It is my son who says he is a little scared so his brother tells him not to be afraid that he will go down first and wait for him at the bottom. It is my son who climbs in the front of the raft and with all the excitement in the world sets off on this slope. It is my son who has this horrible unspeakable and utterly unimaginable thing happen to his body on the way down. It is my son who lays lifeless at the end while his brother nearby is screaming in horror. He is not my son.... except when I lie in bed at night... he is.

It's not even fair of me to be feeling this way. It's so selfish in fact. This feeling that does not quite have a name. It is like anguish, sadness, hopelessness, heartache. It feels like anxiety and unwarranted fear and grief.

It feels like horror.

I can't stop myself from thinking about it.

My daughter went to that park three days after it opened back up and there was a large red stain all the way down the slide, after the second hill. There in the open, glaring. How callous of them. How could they not have put up a tarp to hide it? To hide the place where this horrific thing took place.

It was not my son. Except when I close my eyes, it is my son. It is all of our sons. On any day, any combination of things that we do could put us in harms way.  On a car ride, on a bike to his friends house, on a playground at school. What an intricate web of things had to happen for it to be this boy, on this day at precisely this moment. If one person cuts in front of he and his brother it does not happen this way. If he stops to go pee first before climbing the stairs, this does not happen. If the ride just before took two seconds longer, this does not happen. It all came together just so... just so that this awful thing happened on a day that he should have remembered forever as one of the best of his life.

His parents trusted him to go off with his big brother, they had younger kids to watch out for. They probably said things like "Have fun." and "Be Safe." and "Stay with your brother."  They had every reason to think things were perfectly fine. Normal. Safe. His mother must be going over and over in her head all the things leading up to it and whether or not she could have changed the outcome.

She could not have. It is not her fault.

His mother, oh god. I want to go to her and hold her head in my lap and tell her to cry for as long as she wants to. A day, a week, a month, a lifetime. Cry until she has no more tears. It won't matter because that kind of pain doesn't fade with anything but decades. I want to help her clean her house and do laundry and take care of her other boys so that she can just lie in her bed until she feels like she can stand up again.

He was not my son, he was her son.

I can't even fathom her pain. I want to tell her I'm sorry over and over while petting her hair while she cries. I'm so sorry.

If my heart hurts like this, imagine how she must feel. If I can't shake this dread, imagine how she must feel.

It was not my son, but my heart bleeds for her. She lost hers.

I'm so sorry.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Anything less than bliss is a waste of time...

This is a saying I heard once, from some stupid movie. I think it had Ethan Hawke in it. The movie was worthless but I loved the saying. I grasped on to it. In my 20's it was my mantra. It's a nice thought but I don't think it is real or possible or even what we should strive for. It's setting ourselves up for failure really. Later in my 30's I read an article. When Sandy Hook happened I read this article about one of the victims mothers. Noah Pozner his name was, the boy was Noah. His mother, she said she was his mother for the good and the bad. She said had to be there to identify his body no matter how horrific it was. I thought- we must be here for all of it. We must live and embrace the good and the bad and the horrific. The article tore me to shreds on the inside. It also made me grow.

Rick and I have been talking lately about happiness. It's a topic, that since I gave birth 12 years ago has been heavily on my mind. Immediately after I gave birth I just kept thinking when does it happen? When does the pure happiness come? Like a movie where the mom just stares so lovingly at the baby and seems blissful. It didn't happen like that for me. What is happiness? I thought about how to have it, how to keep it, how to define it, what causes it? I have come to some pretty substantial conclusions. First one is that Happiness is not a constant state of being but rather a destination that you arrive at an leave on a regular basis. I don't feel like you can be consonantly happy unless you are on drugs or are mentally ill or lying about it. (I'm only half joking..) Second one is that Happiness is a goal. It's a place we strive to be. I don't feel like it's a place we are allowed to live, only to visit. The key is finding ways to visit often and to stay as long as you can.

I also feel like there are three levels of this happiness.

Level #1 is "Contentment" - which is where you are feeling good, nothing is upsetting you, nothing bothering you, you have a smile on your face, you are content. It's sort of like floating. Or maybe try to imagine you're on a nice stroll in the park and you see like a turtle or a cool butterfly and your kids are playing and no arguments are happening and there is a breeze and your husband leans over and says, "You look like you've lost weight and oh by the way all the bills are paid for this month." You feel extremely content.

Level #2 is "Happiness"- which is like more intense. Like imagine that same walk and you see a colony of monarchs in that park. Your kids are not only not arguing but are really being ultra kind to one another and helping each other see the beauty in life and there is not only a breeze but it smells of lilacs and oranges and your husband who looks surprisingly like Brad Pitt says, "Damn baby you look like you've lost 50 pounds, and oh by the way my parents died and left us a comfortable inheritance so the bills are paid and we are vacationing next week." You feel so happy!

Level #3 is "Bliss"- far more intense still and much more of a rare occurrence. Bliss is not just a park but like the Tuileries in Paris (with no tiny Eiffel Tower salesmen), and you see like every tree is filled with a menagerie of butterflies of all kinds and colors. Your kids are laughing and holding hands and turning back to look at you waving grade cards with all A's on them. The lilac orange breeze is blowing through your hair which is totally perfect today and you are eating macaroons and gelato which are totally fat free and calorie free as well but still somehow taste great. Then your husband who looks almost exactly like Chris Hemsworth leans over and says, (in and Australian accent because duhhhh..) "I want you with the passion of a thousand volcanoes, you perfect woman, and by the way we won the power ball and right now it's 336  million so after taxes we are fucking loaded, and my parents died." You feel freaking blissful!!

These are my three stages. It's only a theory but at 44 it's where I'm at and I think it's a pretty accurate theory. So I'm going with it.

I spend most of my time trying to be in one of these states. I think about the things that I do and the people whom I surround myself with. Do they bring me to these places or do they take me away from them. I spend time really being present, acknowledging when I am feeling these things and when I am not. Now we all have to work, we have to pay bills, and drive in traffic, and shower, and grocery shop and these things are utilitarian and we just have to do them. We all have to attend funerals and experience loss. These things are a part of life. And honestly, ask yourself this, If you did not know extreme unhappiness would you recognize bliss? Would you appreciate bliss? It's like Christmas. It can't be Christmas every day. Sometimes it just has to be Tuesday.

I am focused on the things that we get to chose to do. Like in our "free time" ( I hate that saying.)  Like in the evening or on the weekend or on a day off, what makes me feel happy? I have narrowed it to a few things. Water related activities make me happy like swimming, dipping my feet in the ocean, reading near a lake, listening to waves crashing. My immediate family makes me so happy. My kids laughing, saying funny silly things, watching them be loving to one another, seeing them face life and come out on top, just talking to them. When they call me "mom", it makes my heart feel full and happy. Lying next to my husbands warm body at night. When I make him laugh. I love his laugh and when I cause his laughter, I feel supremely proud of myself. These things bring me happiness. Kittens make me happy, no explanation needed. Traveling, and seeing new places makes me happy. Something that I have never laid eyes on, something new to me, something profound changes me and makes me feel happy. Poetry and really beautiful song lyrics make me happy, when a person crafts words into emotions I am drawn in a left feeling such joy. Modern art makes me happy. Rick says he doesn't understand it, but I have to tell you that when there was a giant fried egg on the median of Roe Blvd. I loved it. That sardine can piece in the Kemper makes me happy.  Seeing modern art or gorilla art always makes me smile. Flowers make me happy. It's inexplicable really. Sunflowers bright and big and yellow, lilacs sweet smelling, roses beautiful and thorny, daises so youthful and innocent, clean looking pale hydrangeas all make me happy. My husband brings me these yellow roses with orange brims for every holiday. They were the roses from our wedding. I love that he remembers and it makes me so happy.

I'm writing this because, this weekend I was totally aware that I was in a state of bliss that might be one of the longest lasting periods of bliss I've ever had. My family went rafting down the Niangua river. We slept in a tiny cabin, close quarters. All cozy together we made dinner over a fire and to kids all slept in one room except when Finn had that bad dream and came to sleep with Rick and I. Even that made me happy- I'm greedy over those moments when they NEED you. Not just want you to be there but really need you to be there.  I felt carefree and singular in an odd way, as we were five but one as well. We worked together to make the raft float straight down the river. We laughed a lot, we talked to each other. We floated in the water down the river in the current like a roller coaster ride. My kids were laughing. The water was cool and perfect, the sun was warm, the birds and bugs were a chorus and all of it was for us. I sat on the edge of the raft with one foot in the sweet water and just felt bliss. These people are mine and they bring me so much happiness.

I don't live in a state of happiness but I try every day to get back to that place; to find the things that bring me there and to focus on them. That is what happiness is- that is my theory anyway. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

This is the Scenic Route -written with all the love in my heart for my handsome and individual sonshine Jude Kohlmeyer

     So I've said it before and I'll say it a thousand times more. It's all in how you look at things. It's all about PERSPECTIVE.

I was reading a book to my son Jude. He is so beautiful and full hearted, but the is definitely the one who challenges me day in and day out. I was reading him a book called, "The Phantom Tollbooth." In all my years, and all my books, and all my college, and all my "English major" studies, How have I never read this book? This book is the story of Jude. I swear it. I thought it the whole time I was reading it, to the point of actually feeling great AWE at times. Milo is Jude, Jude is Milo. The boy who wants to take the short cut and misses the exit. The boy who (hopefully) eventually learns the lessons that the road of life has for you. I am not sure Jude really got it. But I do promise you this, I will read it to him again. Later in his life, and again... until he does. It's my job. To make sure he gets it. My job to help him along his journey and keep him on the road.

That got me thinking.

No parent ever plans to let her kids fork off on that path that takes them the wrong way. So where and when does that happen to people? The lady on the corner begging for change, who looks from behind to be 21 but who's face had the wear of a 60 year old? That man who sleeps under a tree with a cart of metal he plans on selling for cash. I'm not jumping ahead and wondering if Jude will be homeless or anything, don't get me wrong. I just can't help but ponder how any of us ends up where we are. I look back on the endless myriad of choices we have had like a maze of veins, forking in all directions. Each choice bringing us to a new path. And I wonder about fate and destiny and I wonder if all our choices really matter or are we destined to end up where we are.. do all roads lead us here?

I am pretty happy about where my life has lead. I really would not change a thing.

I read somewhere. I can't quite remember... that a person can say they have had a good life if they can look back and say that they'd not change a thing. Not that they did not make mistakes but that they understand that those mistakes made them who they are and that they liked who they are.

I understand that each and every choice I have made has lead me here and even though some of those choices were not great, even though some hurt, burn, scalded... I am here and I like what I see when I look out of these eyes. Of course things could be better. I could have a better house, a better car, a 100 less pounds, more money in the bank. I could spend half a day comparing myself and my achievements or lack of to others around me. I could measure myself be someone else's ruler. But I choose not to. I choose to look at life with this heart and from these eyes, and the view from here is pretty spectacular.

In the book Milo comes upon a boy who is floating in mid air. A boy named Alec Bings. The boy talks to Milo about perspective.  He says, " certainly can't always look at something from someone else's Point of View. For instance, from here that looks like a bucket of water (pointing to a bucket of water.) But from an ant's point of view it's a vast ocean, from an elephant's just a cool drink, and a fish , of course, it's a home. So, you see, the way you look at things depends a great deal on where you look at them from."

Don't waste one more second thinking about what you don't have, be grateful for what you do. Don't waste one more second on complaints about things you don't like if you've no plan to change them. Don't waste on more minute on judgement of anothers life, because maybe it's exactly where they want to be, or need to be.

I wonder if those people that I see on the corner got stuck in the doldrums. I wonder if they are lost in the foothills of confusion. Or perhaps are they exactly where they choose to be? Perhaps from where they stand life looks beautiful?

Perhaps the road Jude goes down will be completely different than one I'd choose for him, perhaps it will be hard, perhaps it will be fraught with danger and mistakes and pitfalls...All I can ask is that he learn from them, grow from them, build on them, and eventually look in his rear view mirror at them with great thanks. It's only when we get stuck in them and can't find our way out that we are truly lost. Jude's heart is always a compass for me, and I know it will serve him well. Jude may take the scenic route, but I know he will be all the better for it.

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Driveway is Magic

My Magic Driveway…

Okay so I know I’m a weirdo but it’s totally true, my driveway is magic and this story probably reveals more of my insanity than I should actually be sharing.

Where to begin?

When I was like 27 or so, I was watching an episode of Oprah (because all good stories begin with and episode of Oprah, right?) It was about finances and how all of your financial views could be traced back to your very first memories of money as a child. (uh oh is right!!)  It was about teaching our kids now how to handle and be responsible financially. I started to think back about my first memories, not having kids of my own yet to screw up, I wanted to see what damage my parents had done to me. I was blown away. My very first memories of money were that of my magic driveway.

We lived in a small house in a neighborhoody neighborhood. We had a white fence and our tiny house was sunny and yellow. Our driveway started out as gravel and sand and then was paved as it sloped closer to the garage. When my dad would get home from work, he’d empty his pockets of change in the gravel and leave behind pennies and nickels for me to find later. I thought it was magic. I’d go out later and I’d plunder hordes of treasure thinking I’d be the richest kid in the vicinity.  It was fun to me. I was five or six at the time and my world, and my driveway were great happy places.

I can see however, where this woman on Oprah was going and how accurate her suggestions actually were. I had made it to my late 20’s at that time, and deep in me I still looked for the magic money. I opened every envelope hoping to find a large check, I checked my mailbox with secret anticipation, I always looked for change on the ground, and I never missed a chance to by a raffle or lotto ticket, knowing I’d be a winner. Saving, scrimping, and budgeting be damned because, “Hey! Money comes to me by magic!” After the episode I did some major re-hauling of my life and bank account. Because damn it, if it’s on Oprah well, you betta recognize! Major changes were wrestled through. Life got better, it actually did and I grew up! I did.

But my driveway is still magic. I can not explain this phenomenon. Now much older (yes.. I am old-er) the driveway of my current home still manages to produce some very interesting treasure. We have a tiny house to in a similar less neighboorhoody neighborhood as the one I grew up in (in an entirely different part of town.) Every day is a surprise. What will it bring now? I decided I had to write about it some months back when it produced a rather large and fluffy white rabbit. I put it off thinking I was being silly but three rather weird and challenging gifts later, my driveway will no longer be ignored. It must have its story told.

Months back my husband pulled into the back of the drive at the same time I pulled into the front. The kids were so happy he was home, they jumped form the car. He came around front with an astonished look on his face asking if I’d just seen that giant white rabbit. Alice is that you? I laughed and said WHAT? He then swore that he’d just seen a huge, all white with pink eyes, bunny jump under our third car. I did not believe him until the fuzzy nose poked out from behind a tire. The kids then spent the better part of the next week plotting ways to catch it and inventing new rabbit traps. Eventually the poor thing wore down and surrendered. He lived with us for weeks before he became the class pet and eventually found a more permanent living arrangement.

 But I could not shake how funny it was to find a big ole pink eyed bunny in my driveway. It’s not like we live in the country! Obviously someone’s escaped pet he’d found us and thus his new saviors through the magic driveway portal.  Next came the same sized brown bunny. Nope, not even kidding- not one little bit. He proved much more difficult to catch. Jude spent weeks. One ENTIRE Saturday was whittled away in contraptions. That bunny was just too fast. But again, the cold weather and the lack of greenery must have worn down the little guy. Jude finally captured him with a few carrots as bait. He and his puff of a white tail found a new home with our neighbors grandkids.

So you’d think the drive would be satisfied. But alas we have now been gifted a pretty fluffy crème colored pooch. She showed up there just two days ago. I was beginning to feel a bit like my Grandma Jerry who had an entire circus of stray animals who called hers home. People would drive to the end of her country road and dump off puppies or cats and they’d find their way back up to her house. She always loved and fed them. That house was becoming my house. All except I live smack in the inner city and this circus was popping (and pooping) up in my driveway! The crème colored beauty is still here. She has decided my dog is her bestie and we will probably either keep her or find her a home. (Man this is becoming a full time gig.) Crash (my dog) even has relinquished ownership of his dog house to her. He was found sitting outside of it when it began to rain a night ago and we went to bring him inside. He was just sitting there letting her stay warm and dry. He’s sweet like Jude. They are spirit animals I swear.

But that brings me to last nights treasure! It’s a weird one… I mean what are the odds…

I have to jump back just a bit on this one too. When Ricky and I started to date, we discovered that as kids we had a mutual hobby. We created skits and shows with our cousins for our families. (OMG he is going to kill me for this)  One of his was to the song Xanadu! So was mine! I loved that movie! I loved that movie, I loved that song and man did I want to be Olivia Newton John. The skirt, the leg warmers! Oh I wanted to be her! Raci Buchman and I for hours in my basement singing and dancing and even roller skating around! So being the joker I am, I’d call Rick way back in the beginning of our time together, and leave a recording of myself singing Xanadu! …. Now we are here in Xanadu-ooooo.. Xanadu your neon light will shine…. for you Xanadu.. 

The love, the echoes of long ago
You needed the world to know, they are in Xanadu

Aheeemmmmm.. sorry I got carried away in song there for a moment. I still leave him that message now and then.

He comes in the house last night and he’s all freaked out, calls me and asks if I’ve been home. He thinks someone may have broken in. He checks all the windows and as I am coming up the porch stairs, just getting home, he opens the front door and asks me if I still have my old Xanadu record.

(DUHHH.. of course I do.)

He wants me to go get it. And because I’m a freak I can and do in like under 5 seconds. Here she is… complete with lyrics… ahhhh.

He is puzzled.

Why I ask? Then he tells me that there is the same Xanadu record in the driveway. I am absolutely not kidding- not even one bit.  Here is picture proof.

And now you see that my driveway is magic, that I could ignore this no longer, and that the world must obviously know of its great powers.

So sometimes the first perceptions you form at 5 or 6 are absolutely correct. Sometimes there is magic in life even if it’s totally weird and pointless magic. And sometimes, nay- all the time Xanadu is a great thing to find in your driveway! (seriously what ARE the odds?)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


It's November. Here it is months since I have written. A dry spell? Not exactly... For me it's more like a retreat. Not the kind you go to to get a massage and drink a Daiquiri, but the kind you do when at war and you are being beaten.


I was recently involved in a project with a couple of people. This project took my heart, my time, my love. In return.... I'm not sure what I got. I'm still thinking on that. I won't say it was bad but I will say it was tough. It shouldn't have been. It should have been uplifting, enlightening, and surging with possibility. It wasn't. For me it felt a little like a war. I took hit after hit until I was ready to retreat. That's not me. Not who I am. Ever. I stand and fight. I push on. I move ahead. I win.

I can't say why it turned out the way it did. It just did, but it caused my retreat. It caused me to not want to write. I love to write. It caused me to question my ability and my voice. It shouldn't have. It should have affirmed those things. It caused me to hide. It should have made me blossom.

It's November, and here I am. I'm still like a cat licking away at these wounds. Who am I? Who am I? Why did it hurt?

To add to my feelings of insecurity, Finn leaves me alone to start Kindergarten. I am over them moon happy for him but alone here is scary. Only myself to face, to listen to, to talk to. Where is my voice? Why won't it return?

I sit here today fighting the urge to retreat, fighting the urge to scream, fighting the urge to cry.

Fighting... that's me. Always fighting and moving forward. Coming back to me. Because that's who I am. A fighter. I rage on, not die down.

I feel a little like I'm at the eye of the hurricane. The calm when all the world swirls around you in madness. I am still and listening for that voice. Coaxing her out. Holding my hand out and calling to her. Asking to be taken from the still into the winds. That's me. I normally live in the storm and I thrive there. I embrace that pace and movement. I embrace that chaos. I embrace that fierceness.

It's Novemeber...

I'm donning my armor and suiting up for the battle...ready for the storm. Ready to return to me.

Monday, June 30, 2014

My How the Time Flies

"Mommy will you help me get this on?" As I am fastening the Velcro on his over-worn spider man costume he is running away. I reach out as he is fleeing and brush his curly golden locks with my fingertips. He does not notice, he is running away. He is always running away. My heart aches. Soon he will be running from my car door at the curb of his school into the wide open world of kindergarten and then beyond. Time is flying. "One: my pretty pony- two: my pretty pony.. " Stephen King wrote a short story called My Pretty Pony in which a man explains to his grandson about how as he grows older time begins to move faster and faster, "slipping away from you in great chunks if you don't hold tightly onto it." That is how I am feeling.

I stood in the wave pool searching the bobbing bodies for my girl. I know she is safe but I'd sure feel better if I could only put my eyes on her. I pick over all the neon pink bikinis in my field of vision. When she chose it at the store I was hesitant but thought to myself that she sure would be easy to spot. She beamed at her image in the mirror, so happy and confident I could never have said no. Now I am looking around and it appears that every other mother had the same idea, as she is lost in a sea of pink bikinis. I actually passed over her several times. I saw two girls sitting facing one another in a double inner tube. They were much too old to be my girl and her friend. They are only 10. Little girls in my mind. These two had long lean legs dangling from their raft and hair that flowed down their backs. They were easily 15 or 16. These two laughed and tossed their locks about, kicking their legs, splashing up water. As I drew closer they came more into focus. There she was, the teen girl and her friend- beauties. It was my girl. My ten year old looking like she was all grown up. I felt it again. Bracing myself like the Earth shifted.

We were leaving the restaurant and he was walking ahead. He looked back to see if his friend was following him and fell right over the parking barrier; fell flat. I gasped and said, "Are you okay? Oh my gosh, are you hurt?" He leapt up and yelled.."Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!" We all laughed and his buddy said. "Ha, now there is the Jude I know!" The Jude he knows.... A funny, outgoing, independent boy who doesn't need his mom and is way past the point of boo boo kisses. They climbed into our car and laughed the whole way home whispering about video games and maybe even sisters that were pests. I glanced several times back in the rear view mirror at his handsome features. He is becoming so handsome. He always holds the door open for ladies. He is quick with a compliment. I was proud but still shaken.

Days and days have just slipped through my fingers. Some I wished were over and others that I can never get  back. The time is flying. I am powerless to stop or even slow it. All I can do is be here and now and be present for those moments when those shifts take place. I love them so much.

Right now in the other room they are still small. Finn is meowing like a cat while Jude and Char are putting on a play. They all are falling out in laughter. They are so loud talking over one another so the next cool idea can be heard. Right now time is flying and I am just here watching.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Is your "truth" just an excuse for you to be an asshole?????

So as I said on Facebook I have been doing a lot of thinking about this new trend of "Speaking your Truth." For the most part I am about "Speaking your Truth." I am for it, I vote YES. Yes, more power to ya! If you are brave enough and open enough to talk about your baggage, your woes, your dirt, your life then I think that is great and powerful and cathartic. 

If you want to finally talk about being molested as a child, if you want to tell everyone that once you were raped, if you want to be strong and come out and say, "I'm gay!" that's fine too. Proud of you! Go for it... please. I think it makes us all feel more connected, accepted, and one. 

However- the line for me is when your "Truth" is about someone else. DURRR?? You are thinking. Yes it would seem that it's common sense that YOUR truth would be about YOU. Well as it turns out, it is not all that common (the sense that is...) 

There seems to be this new kind of "truth" people are speaking rather hiding behind, that is not really truth- instead it's just and excuse to be mean. "I'm really struggling with this. I can't go on, I must speak my truth. I have to tell you that I just don't really like you. I can't see myself wasting one more minute of my time near you. Please understand- I'm just speaking my truth." Mistaken!!- Newsflash.. that's not YOUR truth it is just really mean. 

"Oh how BRAVE she is for having 'Spoken her Truth.' " I've heard in response. 

Again... mistaken.

Brave would be to have walked away or turned the other cheek. In a work relationship Brave is the person who pushes through it and does the job that needs doing without all the drama. In a friendship, brave- well yes it says the hard things but it does so with compassion. Brave in love shows much grace and patience. It stands by and holds the hand and lifts up it's loved one instead of tearing them down. In a group of people we don't really know? BRAVE says to him or herself.. "Well, I dont really agree and I may not like or maybe even actually hate the way that person is, but I must acknowledge that I dont have to like them. It's okay for them to be exactly who they are. I don't have to like them. I can just chose to ignore or walk away from them." BRAVE has a filter..... BRAVE does not have diarrhea of the mouth!!! BRAVE is not juvenile. BRAVE shows restraint and class. BRAVE considers not only his or her feelings but seriously weighs the consequence of the words they are about to speak and BRAVE- well Brave is concerned with the feelings of the person whom they might be hurting with their "truth"....

 It is far more brave a task to stick it out and try to make things work than to walk away veiled in "truths."

I have been thinking a lot about a speech I heard a year back at Listen to Your Mother 2013 in Kansas City. The speech was by Michelle Burdick. She writes this great blog. She is talented and she is funny.. But more than that she is classy and filled with grace. In her speech in 2013 she talked about a hard relationship with her mother and she talked about how it has made her into the person she is. She likes who she is. So along with all the bad- she acknowledges all the good that came from her childhood. She states in her conclusion, a list of "gifts" her mother gave her. One is the ability to and the knowledge that we must "meet people where they are." 

What brilliant advice. 

Will I like everyone I ever meet?- Nope no way. Maybe not even MOST of the people I meet. But will I allow them to be who they are and to live in the space that they live in without my judgement on them. Yes... yes I will. Isn't that how we all should think? If I want to be who I am and say what I want to say- to "Speak MY truth" then don't I have to allow you to be who you are?

Don't like someone? Don't be around them- pretty simple. You do not have to speak it. A little class needs to be restored.

I'm guilty too sometimes... we post we tweet.. we pinterest and instagram- everything we are thinking.. I am wondering if we are forgetting how to be decent and polite? Has the lack of physical presence and all these virtual relationships caused us to become unable to be decent? Do we spew out our "truth" from the safety of our keyboard so much that when we are with other real humans we forget to be kind and decent????

I at least try to make my posts and my statements about ME. I try to own whatever feelings I have about another person. Because hey- here is another newsflash.... What you don't like about another person... well 99.999% of the time it's because they either scare you, mirror you, or make you realize where you fall short. When you lash out at someone it's because YOU are lacking in some way. 

You know what would be truly brave? A little introspection and a little SILENCE..... 

( I know.. I know.."said the loud mouthed blogger")

Not everyone needs to know everything you are thinking. A filter needs to be returned to our lives. We can't and shouldn't just go popping off our "truth" at the expense of others feelings. I leave you with this question........."Is YOUR truth just an excuse for you to be an asshole??"