The Edge of Darkness

WARNING; Mature Content and Profanity. I give you permission to look away!

I was awakened this morning with a startling glimpse of this story being told. I was shaking in the knowledge that it is time.

It has been a four-year journey of disclosure and restraint, unraveling and mending of raw rage and for his deeds there is no recompense that satisfies my mind.

They met and married, he had a sordid past. We believe in new beginnings and hope in the restoration of all broken and abandoned. In him there was a high call and a twisted way we would come to see. I know by his own words he fears only God, but that is not enough to alter his evil ways. He beat her, he abused her mind and had his way with all that she held dear. She was welcome to leave but not with his children. Gun to her head, bowie-knife to her throat, it wasn’t difficult to believe he meant what he said. He broke her down in the shadows of darkness where-in she believed her only hope was to protect her family from his hand. He kept her car and her phone, isolating her as he had his way on the streets and with his other women. She looked for a chance to steal away but she believes full well his words, that if she ever took his children, he would take mine. The threats on her siblings and on our life held her silence. He became careless and flagrant in his abuse and while staying with friends he head butted her in the night. There was no hiding her swollen blackened eye from our site.

Confronting the black reality of her pain took great courage and she ran for her life. The swollen eye and concussion was minor compared to the damage he had done. We confronted his threats and our home became the target of his rage. He went on the run and a federal and state man hunt was underway with 24 hour surveillance on our home.

In the midst of courage my baby girl found her voice, she was nine. When she knew her sister and the babies were safe she was ready to tell. He had been molesting her right under our nose for three years. His words were the same, if she told, he would shoot her in the head and kill us all. In shock and rage we took her to the police station to make her report. The officers took her from us under the watchful eye of social workers, while we waited we knew full well it could change the status of our fostering home. Three boys had come to stay and if they found us incompetent we ran the risk of losing it all. Her story was worth all risk, her courage beyond our pain.

Hours of questions and a physical exam that showed no scaring, we were sent home. Cleared of any risk of loosing our fostering status we had no answers and even worse they had no proof. No charges were brought and days turned to weeks , weeks turned to years and finally he was caught. We had held out hope that when they finally brought him in there would be justice. Both girls, battered and broken, had found their voice they took a stand.

He was a two strike felon who battered, beat, raped, molested and threaten lives. He went on the run while still on parole and when they caught him he was loaded with weapons. He was looking at 6 years with a reduced plea he bargained it down to 3-4. He was never charged with sex crimes or child molestation. He has served slightly over a  year and will be out this December.

I wrestled the demons of my mind. In the months and years of disclosure and revelation I walked in a rage that almost took me over the edge of darkness. Early in this fight I baited the dirty mother fucker to our house and sat with my revolver in my hand. By day break my daughter found me and gently loosed it and tucked it safely away. When I came out of the cold black stooper, I was disappointed. I had no blood on my hands.

I am a professional in the field of Early Child Development. I work with children in all aspects of my life. I am an advocate and a champion for safe children and in my care this took place. I still have not recovered. I am thinking I will never be the same.

I attended a domestic violence awareness walk and even spoke about childhood trauma at a workshop. I was right in the middle of this bull shit, so I put on my mask and put one foot in front of the other. The survivor walk touched a cord in me, I came through the arch way of celebration and a young child was holding a sign, “Break The Silence”  My weapon is my word, victory of darkness is my stand. I have not overcome his evil ways, but I have found my way in the wilderness. I forgive him. Not because he is worthy, not because there is any good thing in this man. But because forgiveness breaks off the strong hold of my judgment. It releases his control over me and the darkness that hate instills. I release him to stand before our maker, may judgment be in His hand.

…an after thought: People have told me that if that had happened to theirs they would have kill him. They say many things that I have thought and at one time even said. I am thankful daily that I did not go over that edge. I am thankful that his ways did not rob me of my place in my home, my place at the table called Life. We all have a burden to carry, an evil to overcome. He does not hold the key, I will not surrender to his darkness.

December is right around the corner: “Come What May”

This story was shared with permission.

via Daily Prompt: Black

The Unexpected

004

A friend came to visit yesterday evening and I found myself chatting about blogging. I got started less than a month ago and I must say there are surprises along the way. I am new to this and have much to learn.

I hesitate to say that I had no idea about the “stats” or the image of the world map that lights up as you have traveled across continents and connected with others around the world. It is an unexpected thrill. The traffic is a tease at times as I want to know more about those who have crossed my path. I want you to know if you have disclosed yourself to me and I am not aware of your region or town, I educate myself. I go online and read about your surroundings. This grounds me and I become vetted in my fellow readers and writers.

When I was a young girl we had an exchange student at my school. She linked me to another student in India and we became pen-pals. We wrote letters and exchanged artwork. We lost contact over the years but I have never forgotten her drawing of peacock feathers or the life experiences that she shared. Blogging is pen-palling at its finest.

Cheers to connecting from here to there. I look forward to your stories and comments.

 

Suicide; one person’s panacea, another’s life sentence.

Daily Prompt: PanaceaIMG_7677

“Panacea~a solution or remedy for all difficulties or diseases…”

I have been thinking of this daily prompt all day. There is so much that I am not yet ready to say. If my dog Shaw was still with me he would have felt my annexed and pushed me to go for a walk. He would have pushed in close and I would have put my nose to his fur and breathed him in.

  • David C.R. ~ My childhood friend. You could have told me anything. HIV
  • Kelly P. ~ High School. My beautiful friend, I loved the ice-cream on your face. I wish you would have know broken hearts mend.
  • Uncle Paul and Aunt Georgie~ You changed our world. You did it your way.
  • Teasa Lane~ I can not even say your name. I was there when each of your babies were born, I climbed in beside you in some of your darkest days. I tasted your tears and I couldn’t catch you when you fell.
  • Kenny W.~ You encouraged me and said the kindest of things, I just didn’t know it was good bye.

My Panacea: “There is no death, only a transition of life.”

The House

The House on Wood Street is tall and imposing. I remember when I first saw her. I was driving a side street and I noticed behind the tall redwood tree’s there was a large bird of paradise plant with dramatic flowers. I didn’t really notice the structure itself. I remember the flower speaking, telling me to take notice.

I have lived in this house now over thirteen years. We were quiet content in our first home. It fit us wonderfully, on a hill with views and lots of natural light. When we opened our hearts to fostering we were quickly told it was not big enough for what our hearts and hands would welcome, so we moved to The House. She was built in 1904 and has withstood the hands of time with very few alterations. As we moved in on a cold winter day our first young momma came with her baby and her things. It was a house for others from day one.

Fostering has given way to adoption and I have always kept my mind on the original heart beat and vision. Every child deserves a home, a place of belonging and purpose. A place to launch from and a place to return. I know longing, and heart-break from a place of empty heart and womb. Adoption is a beautiful story of family for many individuals and the reasoning is as complex as those who make this choice.  My story was somewhat more happen stance. I saw a need and I said yes and guess what, that does not make me a mom. My love for them does. There is this thing that happens, you wake up and notice you even love their stink. You want whats best for them even more than you want whats best for yourself. Sometimes that doesn’t lead to adoption but loving them from a distance and carrying them always in the place that only they can hold.

I do not require that the children of our family call me mom. I can read their faces and know their ways. I speak brokenness and miss trust fluently.  “Mom” just the very word stirs up vision and expectation and some are not good. There is confusion and strings attached and I am patient. In my mind I am patient. I rationalize the lack of title and have fully convinced myself, I want to be fine with it.

One day I am doing my household chores, tending to the house. I take a break and sit outside and look up and the reflections in the window looks as if she is winking at me. Not teasingly but assuredly. I was fussing over my place and my identity, I will admit. I want to be the mom and I want all due respect. I want to be adored and favored, I want to be their everything…The House spoke to me, it was the oddest thing. She told me they were not ready and it will come, but for now she would stand in proxy. She would hold them in her belly, keeping them safe and warm. Sheltering them and giving them a place to heal. She will raise them up and never ask for anything in return. I was humbled, this is truth. The House on Wood Street stands in proxy for all the mom’s who could not, and I am honored to call her home.

I answer to many names; The sweetest name is the one that comes from them. It sounds like a song that only they can sing.

via Daily Prompt: Proxy

The Mid-Life Simmer

via Daily Prompt: Simmer

Lets not talk about it. Oh yes, let’s do…

I have always walked closely with those older than I. They feel safe, They have been there, done that and I never gave their mid-life struggle a second thought.

Now its my turn and I am an outward processor, so in this I will not hold my tongue. I am smiling to myself now as I remember adolescence. My sister went first, she never told me. I asked questions like I was the very first to feel the buds of youth. My dear mother was patient and good at giving me facts, black and white, cold hard facts. I refused to turn 13, I was a tomboy and wanted nothing to slow me down. It came anyway.

We can not, no matter how well-behaved we decide to transition, we can not stop the hand we were dealt. I would stomp my foot and refuse but I learned my lesson the first time. It will come anyway.

I have looked forward to growing old, I embraced 40 with great excitement. You see in my earlier years I was often told I was too young. Every step of the way. Too young to go to school when I was the baby. Too young to ride my dad’s green-broke horse when I was 7, too young to get out of High School at 16, too young to marry at 19, too young to have my first child at 21. I figured that by 40, no one had any right to tell me I was too young for anything, except death. I was spunky and happy about it and it took me well into my 50’s before I have the mid-life simmer that has rattled me a bit. I am not here to give advice, each to her own as how she will process her own change. I will say that I was not prepared for my memory issues and mussy brain. I feel cheated, I am a quick wit. I need that to stay ahead of my quick tongue and active body. I roll though life on full speed and have always trusted in my mind to keep me out of trouble.

I am considering the possibilities and the potential for my current mussy brain and I have decided to just put it out there. I have found it helps. I let others know that if I don’t write it down, I will forget.  If I do, I may forget where I put it. I could hide away as this feels vulnerable and foreign to me. It causes doubt and frustration that wears on our face. I have seen it looking back at me in the mirror.

I ask you, do not stay away from those who are on simmer. I encourage you to find a lid. Not to cover her, but to protect yourself from her splatter and take her as she is. Hot and bothered and possibly ready to spit.

 

 

In~Light~In

img_7502Travel didn’t come early in our years together. As we step out on wing and rail we have a common way that keeps us steady. We have no great expectation, but keep our eyes and ears wide open.

Heart racing, mind full, it’s hard to sleep. Heading out early for the winter train to Fairbanks. The first dusting of snow came in the night, it is lovely.
The trees are naked they have lost their leaves. The bark is white and stands in contrast to the dark morning light.

“All Aboard” we here the call, find our seats in the front car with a window, almost. Looking forward it had a wall support cutting off our view. We reposition because we asked nicely and it’s the off season so our train is not full. It’s a twelve hour adventure full of possibilities. This train is one of the last that still allows “on-and-off” travelers to wave it down and pay a fare for their needed transportation. It travels through a part of Alaska where there are no roads. Homesteaders and people living off grid uses the rail as their connection to developed communities. I must say, I try not to have expectations but my thoughts were to see Denali Park and mountain and wildlife, and I did.  The travelers were an unexpected delight. On this day we picked up Mary and Clyde, regulars on the rail. They homesteaded in 1963 and have raised their four children on the land. The couple are in their elder years now, as they made their way through the car they just kept walking. We knew they were something special. Husband mentioned that they knew exactly where they were going. They settled in the dinning car and we met them there later for a chat and story. She told me it was hard, good and hard but she would have it no other way. She loved to talk, he stood off to the side preparing her things. She had lost track of time and they were almost home. I felt humbled and encouraged standing in their light.

If you ever get a chance to ride the train in Alaska, take it. I am not sure what you will see, there are no guarantees. You will not be disappointed if you choose to embrace the beauty and stand in~light~in’d

We saw some wildlife; One moose, cow and calf, a wolverine scurrying across a small frozen lake and the ptarmigan were changing color. We saw the largest Eagles imaginable. If you know me, I have eagle encounters.  I saw many on this trip and they were often unnoticed by others. Standing on the outdoor observation deck, I watched one perched on a rock waiting for a fish, it was huge. Later we saw a large nest with a parent perched on the tree. Another one was soaring and took off in flight and flew directly over our window. I am assured in the blessings of the eagle.

The depth and vast landscape does not translate in the images that I captured. I snuggled in to take in the beauty and put my camera away. I was glancing back and noticed the sun was going down. The light shifted gently. The day had been clothed in monocramatic  wonder, with depth and color transforming as we traveled. I noticed a shift and bundled up to enjoy the solitude of the outdoor viewing deck. It was frequented by others when the conductor would slow to a stop and narrate an outstanding view. At this moment many were resting and I wanted a moment to myself before the end of the day. As the sun set on our corner of the earth it kissed us with the most colorful display of beauty. Wild and free refusing to say good night silently it took my breath away and left me enlightened by its glory.

(You can follow my photo’s on Instragram at say_mima)

IMG_0078

The Bucket

An odd child, I’m not afraid to say it. Normalcy was not considered. Tall, lanky, full of busy, I decided early I wasn’t much to look at so I had better be interesting. Interesting wasn’t difficult. Self control was my challenge. My early years had some trauma but when you are seeing through your own eyes you don’t realize others have a different view.
I was almost five years old when I came face to face with my fathers tragic accident. It was Easter Sunday and my Auntie had taken us on a walk, I was never one to walk so I skipped ahead. Looking over an embankment I watched as a specialized piece of equipment rolled down a mountainside ravine. My father was demonstrating the piece of equipment to three other men and they were all thrown out. My father was smashed right before my four year old eyes. It was graphic and loud and senseless.
The accident was discovered by, I don’t know whom, but the moments of discovery and rescue was such that the adults did not realize I had watched it all. There was much shock and swirling of events and the day turned to years and it changed me. It made me brave.
My father lived, not always well, absolutely not easily, but he lived. I decided at a young age, to embrace each day.
People talk of a “Bucket List”. I have never made one. My plan was simply not to bucket, at all. I also did not daydream of childhood things such as marriage and children or what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was determined how ever to grab the moments, wrestle them fully, and look forward to the next. If I imagine a bucket I only see it as a vessel waiting to be filled, not waiting to be kicked.

Today I have run away with my husband, Adventuring in Alaska. It has not been a destination thought in my mind but the excitement has caught and I look forward to filling my bucket. Will write more later, I can’t wait to see what we will see.

Cloaked In Time

I was sitting at my desk, determined to knock out my “Must Do” list when I received a phone call, “Helloooo”. The soft lift on the drawn out ending is familiar to my ear but even more so to my heart. My Auntie is missing me. She does not demand attention, she does not pout it out. She picks up the phone and gently nudges me in her direction.

A man has passed and she wants to know if I am coming to the service tomorrow. I don’t know this man but I recognize his last name. Auntie is the keeper of the records at Headquarters Cemetery and she is letting me know that Sid will be buried in the family place. Now I am tuned in, Auntie needs something, wants something from me. I know this dance well, she wants me to ride along.

She arrives at my office and gently hands me the keys. I settle into the driver’s seat and take my time, there is no hurry in her step. I lower the window as she would like a little air. She talks softly of the things that matter. She has fallen into a place of remembrance, my age and place in the two generations after her have erased for this moment and I don’t remind her. She references our grandmother as if I knew her and I take her hand and hold the place in her mind that has been vacated by loss, cloaked in time.

(My Great Aunt lives on The Round Valley Indian Reservation. She is 88 years young and  the elder of our extended family. The last of her generation. I am blessed to ride along.)

 

via Daily Prompt: Cloaked

Bonds of Attachment

Attachment, it’s not for the timid or weak of heart. Today we sit in the sunny window of my upper room. My boy is struggling to find his way. His bravery inspires me and scares the life out of me. I will match his bravery because I must.

Often as parents struggling to bond with our restless adolescents, we ask them to join us. I challenge you, join them. We are listening to alternative rock while I paint his drawings. Yes, I set some boundaries, I don’t want derogatory f’words in my house but strong language is part of both our raging emotions. Say That

We are both a work in progress. I will fear no evil.