Posts Tagged ‘love’

I thought of a million reasons, but the look on his face told me to keep quiet.

He gave me a slight smile born of apathy and grief. I was looking at a lost and destroyed soul. He looked away, rubbed his eyes and stared at his lap.

The room had become silent as if there was an absence of time and space. I looked up and they all either had their heads down or were looking away.

What had I stepped into and how do I get out of it?

I cleared my throat and gently put my hand on his arm. He pulled it back slightly but not completely.

“Gary, what are you talking about?”

He shook his head, coughed and leaned back in his chair and looked at me. His eyes were crystal blue and shiny from his tears. He was holding them back and struggling.

I didn’t know whether to push forward or leave it alone.

“Susan, what you have been saying and teaching us in these classes is good. Very good, but on this point, I cannot do it. Not now and not ever. I don’t deserve to be forgiven for what I did. If I don’t deserve it then how can I do it myself? Nah, not gonna happen. Can we change the subject now?”

I was there to help these men with their future. In order to have a brighter future, one must atone for the past and once done, put it behind them and figure out today.  Teaching and talking was crucial to learning but must also be done on one’s own determinism.

There was such destitution in his eyes; I decided to leave it alone. If he wanted to talk about it, I would listen. Until then, I decided to carry on with the class.

He sat quietly for the next half hour. He didn’t look at anyone and continued to stare at the table. The rest of the men read and chatted about what they were learning, what they thought about it and how it applied to them.

The laughter came back into the room for everyone but Gary. He was as still and silent as a stone. I could not keep my attention off of him.

Towards the end of the class as I was wrapping it up, Gary raised his hand.

“I have a question,” he said.

“Go right ahead,” I said. I felt some relief that he was talking again.

“Do you think there are some things that you can never make up the damage for?”

I knew this was a loaded question. The room got quiet again. There was something these men knew about Gary that I did not.

“I suppose so. Murder, for one thing, comes to mind.”

“What if you hurt someone and you didn’t mean to?”

He wanted to go somewhere with this. I knew this was thin ice for him. No one was interrupting him or participating in the topic. All the men were deferring to him for some reason.

“I think we’ve all done that…”

“Yeah, but have you ever murdered your own child?” he asked. He was looking directly at me.

There it was.

“No, I have not. I have never killed anyone.”

He nodded as an acknowledgement of my honesty.

“I was drunk one night and had my kid in the car. I crashed. She died. There isn’t a second since then that I don’t wish and pray to be dead. It should have been me.”

I did not know how to respond. I did not know what to say, so I just looked at him. He braced himself for my wrath and judgment. I had none. I only felt a great sorrow that went into my bones.

He put his head back down. I stepped forward and put my hand under his chin and forced him to look at me.

“I have no words for you,” was all I could think to say.

“Do you hate me now? Do you want me to leave because I am the most despicable person in this room? If so, I will leave and I will understand. No hard feelings.”

This man was in his own prison and always would be. There wasn’t anything else anyone could do to him that would punish him more than he already had. He would until the day he died. That was apparent by just looking at him.

“No, of course not. You can stay. I just wish I knew what to say.”

“Just don’t ask me to forgive myself. I never will.”

I nodded.  I wanted him to try to forgive himself, but there are times in life when you have to back down and let things be the way someone else wants them. As pure as your heart may be and as good as your intentions are, some people will always keep themselves in their own prison.

More people than you might realize are in their own prisons of their own making. No need to add to it. Let  them be and just do your best to love them for who they are. There is goodness in all of us.

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I just found this out and I realize I’ve been working very hard to not know this.

Very hard. In fact, I’ve tried to not know this for the last 6 months but to no avail.

I’ve been forgotten. It’s true. It’s as if I never existed.

I’d rather be hated and yelled at than not ever be thought of again.

It’s a feeling that runs right into one’s soul and you can’t seem to get your wits around it.

You’ve tried every excuse and justification that you can think of.

1) He’s really busy and doesn’t have time.

2) He knows he blew it and doesn’t know what to do.

3) He thinks about you all the time and is afraid to call.

4) He found someone else and regrets letting you get away and is too proud to admit it.

5) He’s dead, sick, in a coma and can’t call or email.

Round and round it goes. Then you see his posting on Facebook and you know.

He’s fine and doesn’t even think about you. Hasn’t taken the time to respond to your email from a week ago and it’s not because he’s dead, it’s because he just doesn’t care.

You hate social networks and right now think they have all been created by Satan himself in order to torture all us rejected souls and try to make us do something really stupid like blasting someone with a posting or an email or start to obsessively check their page every hour of every day and constantly pull our hand away from the “send” or “enter” key.

You even start to battle the evil thoughts of hoping they are miserable or suffering some imagined disease because of their stupidity in not knowing how you really are worth everything, every sacrifice they could possibly make just to be with you or knowing that your friendship and empathy is so rare that it is to be treasured.

But you know your thoughts and feelings are just bouncing around inside your head and you’ll never speak them. Your friends think you are fine and the honest truth of the matter is, you’re tired of thinking about him and talking about him and there really isn’t anything left to say.

You’ve said it all, thought it all and cried all the tears you possibly can until you cry again. You have endless conversations with him in your head that range from pleasant and fun to you slapping him across the face for his stupidity in letting you go.

You met someone who touched your soul and was a true kindred spirit, or so you thought. When you  admit you were wrong or that it was one-sided, you cringe with embarrassment of your shattered confidence.

You vow never to make this mistake again and that’s the exact moment when you realize you are going down the wrong path. If you go down that rabbit hole then you have admitted that you aren’t worth someone’s love and attention and it will soon come to be.

You forget to tell yourself that the reason you have been forgotten is that it’s their insanity and not yours. You were the one that put yourself out there and you were the one that told them you loved them and when they said they didn’t love you back, you did the ultimate in human kindness and compassion; you continued to love them in spite of them.

You have not been forgotten. You will never be forgotten because someone as wonderful and shiny and beautiful as you will always have difficulty in finding another to love you as you deserve to be loved.

Your friends have told you, over and over, that its him and not you. You try to believe this, but they aren’t the ones sitting at home alone with no one to talk to. They may very well be right, but for right now, you are convinced that you have some unknown character flaw that no one can see but you know it’s there. Besides, they say to you what you’ve said to them. That’s what friends are for and you love them more and more for their kind words and love and the way they view you as perfect and worth all things. You know you are truly blessed.

You are on planet Earth after all and the only mistake you can really make is to stop being you and try to be what you think others want you to be.

For all of those out there, reading this post and feel forgotten by the ones we love,  just know that it’s not true. Maybe your goodness and kindness were too much for someone to handle or understand. Maybe you, like me, needed to learn this and take it to heart that those of us who love unconditionally will get smacked around and not understood by many.

But we are never forgotten. No matter what it feels like or looks like.

No one can possibly forget us.

(Yes, I have “unfriended” him, deleted his email address, phone number and picture from my phone).

Gone, but not forgotten.

Why I hate my cats

Posted: July 7, 2011 in Pets
Tags: , ,

I suppose using the word hate is a bit strong, but I must admit there are times when they just really piss me off.

I’ve never hurt them or struck them, but I have been close.

I adopted them about four years ago when I realized that one of my dogs was on his way out of this world and approaching doggie heaven. Good old Shadow was getting old and since he had been an abused dog that  had been rescued from a very horrible man, I never knew his age. Shadow was one of those dogs that no one seemed to want. No good reason for it. Just not loved by anyone.

Sometimes I think animals are higher on the food chain than humans.

And now, years later, he was old and I knew he didn’t have much time left. My other dog Maverick still had a few years to go and I knew he would need company when Shadow left us.

So, I brought the two kittens home to keep Maverick company when Shadow was gone.

This is how cute they were when I brought them home:

Since that time, I have had two pieces of furniture destroyed – a couch and a recliner – and a rug. Come to find out, since I’ve never had male cats, they apparently like to “spray” around the house and since they are indoor cats, my house needs an incredible amount of marking to keep things straight between them.

I have also learned to check my shoes for cat pee BEFORE putting them on. I learned this the hard way when I was sitting and working with a client. We were talking and I crossed my legs. He stopped talking for a moment.

“That’s  odd.”

“What’s odd?” I ask.

“Well,  I suddenly smell cat pee. Hmmm, that doesn’t make sense.”

I felt myself turn red as I realized that it was me that smelled like cat pee. I excused myself and ran down the hall to the bathroom, flung the door open and took off my shoes. I stood there actually smelling my shoes and got a very strange look from a woman who walked in while I was doing this.

Sure enough, there was cat pee all over the bottom of my shoe. I washed them off in the sink with soap and water and dried them and went back to my office. I said nothing and neither did he.

Now in the morning, when I am getting dressed, I first check the floor of my closet for any wet spots and make sure no one came in during the night and claimed my shoes as theirs.

Their names are Boots and Scout. Boots is a tuxedo cat and his brother Scout is pure black. We do have some interesting conversations, even if I don’t know what we are talking about.

As time went by and my frustration with them grew, I began to doubt my decision. I never entertained the idea of not keeping them for their entire lives; I just didn’t know what to do. I was embarrassed to have anyone over until I could spend an hour scrubbing walls, doors, floors and furniture. They had been fixed and had actually started to calm down as they grew older.

This was just a nagging problem in my head that rattled around once in a while.

Well, finally the day arrived to put Shadow down. I was not prepared for that piece of news when I had taken him to the vet. He had slowed down and was starting to cry when he got up and I thought he just need some medicine for his arthritis.

After many tests and endless questions, it came back that he had advanced cancer. I knew what I needed to do at that time even though I felt my heart shatter into a million pieces. Shadow had not had an easy or fair start to his life, but I had damned well given him a wonderful middle and now it was time to end it.

I held him and talked to him and told him what was going to happen. I know he understood and as always when faced with a problem and pain, he wagged his tail and smiled. He believed that by doing that, it would set everything straight and right again.

I gave him a piece of my soul and took a piece of his as I said my goodbye and promised him that when we saw each other again, we would give them back. He agreed and he still has a piece of my soul.

As the days went by and as my grief came and went, I was leaving for work one morning and looked over at Maverick. He was the last dog left out of four and had never been alone. That was why I had gotten the cats – I didn’t want my dear friend to be alone without his brothers while I was at work.

I turned to look at him as I was closing the door and saw Boots and Scout curled up with him as I walked out the door.

It was at that exact moment that I knew I had made the right decision. Yes, they had been difficult to have as pets and I learned to be patient and kind in a world that tested that daily in me. Yes, they had destroyed some of my furniture and at times would wake me up in the middle of the night when they went on rampages. And sometimes for fun, they would walk all over me while I was trying to sleep and insist that I talk to them and it would take every ounce of discipline that I had not to pick them up and throw them off the bed an onto the hard wood floor.

But looking at them curled up with Maverick and Maverick licking them and not giving me a second thought as I left for the day, all my frustration dissipated and to this day, I am grateful for their company.

I lost Maverick three years after Shadow and I still have Boots and Scout. People will often ask if you are a dog person or a cat person. I personally never got the memo that I had to choose and I still haven’t received it. And if I were to receive it, I would toss it away as unimportant and silly.

I may say I hate them under my breath, but the truth is, I am grateful for their company and affection and their constant demand for my love and attention. Where else can I get that from another living creature? I haven’t found it yet except from all my pets that I have known my entire life.

Yeah, they truly are a pain in the neck for me and I will never admit that to them. Why let them have the upper hand at this stage of the game?

Besides, I can always buy new furniture.