Healing/Greiving

I had surgery on Tuesday, and now I am in the healing process.

Healing is like grieving, you can’t hurry it.

Both are recovery processes.

Both trying to repair the body,

from trauma.

The mental body, the emotional body, the physical body, and the spiritual body.

We’ve been given the necessaries for this process,

And though we grow impatient,

they work, after a fashion.

Seeing it in others or helping them see it,

Doesn’t help much when it’s you that is healing.

Small steps, some backwards, some forwards,

Like the frog in  the well: two forward, one backward.

Oh, how we take for granted the uninjured self.

When we’re whole our minds, hearts, bodies and spirits

Are involved with other things, not suspecting

What’s around the corner.

What is the good of trauma? It shakes me up, like an earthquake,

That allows rebuilding of fundamental structures, 

Allows change to occur.

Things I thought were important, aren’t so important now.

Things I had forgotten were important, become important once again.

Grief and healing; healing and grief,

Once thought too painful,

Now seen as brief.

bless me father.

-Small town boy


My doctors, Brant and Wang.

Trees fell down

There are trees down in the forest.

Some fell, but mostly as a result of storm damage.

A natural end to life in a vertical posture.


Now I lay me down to sleep…

No!

Prematurely, not due to any weakness in my limbs,

I am fallen to die,

And then, after a time,

Resurrection, just as Christ died on a tree and was resurrected after being placed in a cave on the ground,

I, laying here on the forest floor,

Will become a nurse log for others to grow from.

The cycle continues.

I m fallen, but others will rise 

With my help.

From

My life comes the life of others,

Standing in the sun.

Amen

– small town boy

Breath

I breathe.

Again.

I breathe,

And with each breath

My lungs extract life

In the form of oxygen 

And send it to refresh my heart.

My heart thus refreshed

Sends it on to my brain,

And the cloud on my spirit lifts

Just a little.

More breaths, more breathing,

More refreshing,

And I can go on.

Simple, slow recovery.

I just keep breathing.

Thank you Jesus,

And all those tiny angels

That I sent to my friend last year in her grief,

They have returned to me.

Their job is never ending.

Their job is to give us strength and courage

And hope.

Take a breath, take another, and another.

Recovery is slow 

But hope is eternal.

– Small town boy

 

In my grief

I grieve.

I ache with it.

My heart is broken.

I am at a standstill,

Unable.

Unable to think.

Unable to feel ought else.

Unable to breathe or swallow or sleep.

How must my daughter feel, my son-in-law, my grandchildren?

I grieve for them, with them.

I weep, in spurts .

When I think I’m safe again,

I am over whelmed with grief.

I long for wellness;

I am heartsick.

Where is my recovery?

In you? In You? In solitarity?

In time?

In activity?

I die with Christ this weekend in hopes of my resurrection,

From this terrible grief.

– Small town boy

Pedal faster

Pedal faster, he’s right behind you,

In his power chair,

He’s going to overwhelm you, again.

I’m at my gym, Fitness Over Fifty,

Pedaling the stationary bike, faster and faster,

Feeling feelings I don’t want to deal with,

About to erupt.

I thought I dealt with his death, but

He chases after me, laughing,

Because he no longer needs his power chair.

But it’s good for the chase.

It’s good because it still gives him power,

The power of love,

The power of his personality that overwhelmed his disabilities,

The power of God that dwelt within

Him and me.

Oh lord deliver me from the great sadness chasing me.

Let me weep again, let my heart break again, let my guts turn to jelly once more,,

So that he can rest and quit chasing me.

Pedal faster. Ignore him, if you can.

Dear God, he is yours now, running and laughing in the heavenly domain.

And we are left here

With our sorrows,

Pedaling as fast as we can.

I love you Terrae.

Thanks for your light in my darkness.

– Small town Boy

Awesome

I hate that word and the way people overuse and abuse it.

Awesome, dude!

That was awesome!

He/she was awesome.

Fuck awesome!

If everything is awesome, then nothing is awesome. We’ve reduced it to triviality.

But, then…

When you have the honor and privilege to know and love an awesome person.

Awesome because, though he was quadriplegic, he ran to you for a hug.

In his power chair.

Though his speech was difficult to understand, he spoke plainly

When he was on the phone with his girl friend.

Though he needed help with the meanest tasks,

His smile was AWESOME.

His love was awesome.

His humor was awesome.

His strength in the face of disability was awesome.

His love for his young nephew, yep, awesome.

It is not hyperbole when you are talking about him.

You have led the way for the rest of us.

Today I will try to be awesome too.

I guess awesome isn’t so bad after all,

When applied to the right person.

– Small town boy

Dedicated to Terrae O’Neal, 

1/6/80-4/6/17


Awesome!!!

Where does the flame go?

Where does the flame go when the candle goes out?

Where did it come from?

It’s a zen question like:

“You know the sound of two hands clapping; what is the sound of one hand clapping?”

The heat, the light, the flickering,

Where do they go?

A flame is not what you think it is,

While it dances there in the melted wax,

Hiding the wick it relies on,

Forgetting the required spark that got it going,

Regardless of its pending demise.

It is merely energized molecules,

Vibrating so,

That we are able to see that part if the spectrum it displays,

Light. The light.

And to feel the heat it radiates when we hold cold hands to the flame,

And feel it’s life.

Flames can join other flames,

Till there is a conflagration.

Is that where it went?

When life was snuffed?

Did it join the conflagration 

Of the universal flame?

Energy is neither created nor destroyed,

Nor are you, my love.

You have been,

We shared your brief life,

And you are 

Still, resurrected.

I know. I feel your warmth yet.

I bask in the light of you.

I love you.

– Small town boy

Today is the next day

Since I decided to live out each day I have been given,

My life is much simpler and anticipatory.

After experiencing grief over the loss of my eldest grandson this weekend,

I realized this morning that today is the next day

In a series that is ongoing 

Despite death, and grief, and sadness.

The moon still shines and becomes full again;

The sun rises; the rain falls; flowers bloom again.

Even as they will when I am gone.

Even as they have since my father, my mother, and my sister have gone.

One day after the next.

So, each day holds the promise of a next day.

And this is it.

I still love you, even in your absence;

I still have those around me who love me;

I await the gifts you have for me today,

With great anticipation.

Thank you.

– Small town boy

It’s my turn

It’s my turn to be old.

I’ve already had a turn at being young, being a teen (I extended that a bit), being twenty something, thirty something and forty when I thought I was old.

My grandfather and my grandmother had their turn with dignity.

My mother’s turn was short (age 68).

My father gave up his turn (suicide at age 37)

Now that it’s my turn to be old, I want to take advantage of all the older ‘adult experiences.’

Like a midday nap.  Like grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Like seeking my self that has been created over the years. Like getting to know my inner child.

Some activities I don’t enjoy, but I acknowledge that they come with the territory and I intend to experience them and grow.

Life enlarged prostate. Like aches and pains. Like ten pillls in the morning and ten pills in the evening. Like obesity and diabetes. Like limited walking, hiking, running abilities.

Slowly I am becoming disabled, in body, in mind, in vision.

But that’s ok.

My body is the one mostly feeling the age.

My heart is large and full of love.

My mind is seeking new ways to discover, like meditation, like quiet time, like turning off the television which hadn’t been invented when I was young.

My spirit soars with the eagles, as Chief Dan George says in “Little Big Man,”

I take one day at a time, and the days fly by, months come and go as I focus on today.

It’s my turn, my last turn, and I want to do it right. My children are watching and I want them to know they have nothing to fear when it’s their turn.

Soon I will experience old age.

I will be more disabled, more spiritual, more medicated and older. Who knows how old; who cares?

So I’m here for you if you need me to love you, to pray for you, to sit with you, to offer unsolicited advice.

I’m here with my wife of almost 45 years. Our marriage is old too.  We like it; we like that we’re together and with children yet.

So if you live in the young world, have faith, you too can have your turn.

Your get to have a turn at being old.

– Small town boy

The Box

I think you’ve built a box.

You began when you were small, actually you built most of it when you were very small.

You had lots of help.

You made your box like those around you, because that’s what you thought boxes should be like.

After you built your box, you began to  put things into it,

Things you saw, and things you saw the others do,

Things you heard, especially if it was strident; those were very important words and sounds,

Sounds like tsk tsk, or tut tut, or oh my!

And swear words. You kept all the swear words you ever heard.

And jokes, jokes you didn’t understand, or  didn’t see the bigotry in.

And you watched how people in your life treated other people,

And you wrote it  down.

Actually it’s the things you didn’t write  down,

But remembered, that have had greater affect on your view of the world outside your box.

You never ever let anyone inside your box, it’s personal and private.

You dont show others what is in your box, except by your actions.

Your children watch this and put things in  their boxes.

Sometimes you just spend the day moaning or crying over something awful in your box, quietly and seriously, but unwilling to toss anything out of your box. You don’t ever clean house.

Every hurt, every slight, every put down are all in there. And you nurture them in silence and in the dark.

And then one day, there is someone new in your life, someone you wish to share even those things deep in your special box.

Someone who helps you clean out the trash just by being in the same room, next to you.

Someone who shines the light into your box, and make the shadows disappear, and makes you feel light headed.

With love you both step outside your boxes and think in new ways, do new things, have new experiences.

And later, in the comfort of your abiding life and love, you begin to examine the box you have built

and tear it apart.

And the more it gets rent asunder,

the more you feel the light and the love,

but It now seems to be coming from above!

And so you share it and you grow, growing too big to fit into any box anymore.

And the love you have received spills out onto everyone you come in  contact with.

You love everybody. Every body! Even yourself.

And you no longer need the box.

You’re whole now.

You’re all that He meant you to be and more.

Your world is so large, so large, so large that

You are one with all.

– small town boy