Today I Feel …

Weird. Not just today; this odd feeling has been around for a couple of weeks now. It’s a good kind of weird – however, it is weird that it’s good.

Do you remember when you were a kid (this is not to imply that I’m a grownup or that I’m old) and something would happen that would just make you giddy? You’d ride that little high for a while.

I feel like that now. For no reason. Seriously; no reason. And I feel silly – I mean I feel like being silly.

What’s weird is that nothing has happened to cause this. I didn’t win the lottery. The man of my dreams hasn’t shown up on my doorstep offering to ‘take me away from all this’ (I don’t even have Calgon). I’m not drunk. I didn’t get laid.  I’m overtired from the extra craziness at my main job and the extra hours at my second – extra time that is only helping me maintain, not get ahead. I had a migraine over the weekend with a fever and I actually felt sick – and I don’t usually get sick.

(I should probably stop there before I jinx myself.)

Yet something is making me happy. Grateful, even.

– No. Not grateful. Gratitude implies a feeling of … humility? I’m not feeling humbled. Appreciative. That’s a better word, because you can hear the smile in it. Little things keep crossing my mind that just make me smile; things that I have, things that I have done, things that I enjoy(ed). By rights, with the way things are going right now I should be (and usually am) a tad bitchy – but I’m not. Everything around me is making me happy – or isn’t making me unhappy.

While it might be nice to know what is causing this so that I can make sure it continues, I’m not questioning it. I’m acknowledging my awareness of it. Thank you. It feels pretty good. I feel pretty good – despite the fact that I’m overtired, achy, can’t quite rid myself of this headache, and I haven’t had steak in over two weeks.

  — and what if something good happens?

That’s pretty cool, don’tcha think?

I’ll take it.

Saturday Night


An Exchange of Power

Yesterday I went to a party. I talked to a girl I didn’t know for a long time about a painful situation she was going through – a situation I did know about. She was probably in her early 20’s – about the same age as my oldest daughter.

Before I left, I gave her the necklace I was wearing – something small in the grand scheme of things, but very significant to me; something that has given me immeasurable comfort that was passed on to me by a very special lady. It was a large and very old moonstone. A rainbow moonstone. My ‘power stone’, as I called it.

It is nothing new for me to give something like that away; I was on the receiving end of a similar transaction almost twenty years ago that impacted me in such a profound way that I had to keep it going (backstory).

But this was my ‘power stone’. I didn’t have it for very long, and it was something I had an awareness of at all times; its weight around my neck felt as new as the first day I put it on, and I had not taken it off since that day. I would constantly reach up to my neck and cup the stone in my hand. It grounded me. My power stone.

During our conversation, something inside me told me to give it to her. I didn’t know if she’d take it – or even if she’d like it – but I’ve learned to hear and listen to that inner voice. That’s how it works for me.

I’ll be honest: I never thought I’d part with it, and if I ever did I did not expect it to be for a long while because I was so … aware of my awareness of it.

I’ll be honest again: when I heard that inner urging, I questioned it with, “Really?” I was immediately answered that I didn’t need it anymore. Like Dumbo and his feather (I’m giggling at that thought as it just popped into my head. Dumbo. [snicker]);  he didn’t need it to fly, but since he couldn’t trust in his own ability, he needed something tangible to hold onto – to believe in, until he learned to believe in himself.

 — Damn! Lonestar and the ring of the Schwartz – from Spaceballs! Why couldn’t that have been the example that popped into my head first? I’m talking about jewelry, too! Dumbo. Ha! Dumbass. I guess I still need to be able to laugh at myself a little more.

When I reached up to take it off I knew I was doing the right thing, and when I gave it to her that feeling grew into more certainty. It felt like a transfer of power, in a sense. Her reaction to the gift was the same as mine that day twenty years ago when it started for me. If I had any questions at all whether or not I’d done the right thing – that this would be taken as significantly as I’d meant – they were erased later when I saw her mingling with other party guests and caught sight of her a few times reaching up to her neck and cupping the stone in her hand as I did so many times these past few months.

It wasn’t until I was in my car for the hour-long drive home that I realized the enormity of that event for me. There was one smaller detail that I hadn’t considered: the chain, the chain the stone was hanging on (the stone pendant had been given to me without a chain, and I used my own). Even the chain was special to me (for reasons I don’t need to explain here) – and I never once thought of it when I took it off. Not once. That blew my mind when I realized what else I’d let go of. Without any awareness or thought of it. And I was okay. No, I was more than okay. I think I smiled like an idiot for the entire drive – I felt so good.

I realized more about all of that, too; I was mistaken in my thought of it as a transfer of power. It was not a transfer; it was an exchange. In talking with her (someone unfamiliar to me) about something I’d already experienced, I heard in my own voice how much I’d grown since then. Right from the horse’s mouth. Even though I would have told anyone that I still haven’t been able to get past it. Even though I believed I was still stuck, I heard from my own mouth that I wasn’t – at least not like I’d thought. Whoa!

As a firm believer in the connectedness of all of us, I believe that one of the implications of that is that if you harm another, you are doing harm to yourself; which means the reverse is also true: if you do a service to another, you are also serving yourself. This and that. Both sides of the same coin. When you lift up another, you are lifting up everyone else. Even Jesus said that what you do for someone else you do for him.

This means that if I was able to give her any comfort at all, I was also comforting the part of me that had felt the same way she did, as well as every other person in the same situation – in the realm of the collective consciousness, the spirit connection of all of us.

In that vein, too, I was able to comfort my own daughter in a small way – the words I said to this girl would not have been received so well by my daughter, simply because of the bias most children have towards their parents’ inability to ‘understand’. (As if I never felt that way towards my own parents!) But those words are now ‘out there’ and she will benefit from the collective.

I’m aware that my neck is bare, but not in the sense of a feeling of something missing. The necklace never felt like a shackle or yoke, either. I don’t feel like I’ve been freed, but I do feel free.

If I ever see this young woman again I would thank her for what she gave to me. I gave her a simple necklace, but she gave me something in return, too.

It was definitely an exchange. Of power.

I had taken the picture of her to show to the woman who gave me the stone. The picture of the two of us was taken by someone else at the party with no plan or design to ‘feature’ the necklace.

A Birthday Present for Someone Passed

Today is your birthday. Happy Birthday!

You have been gone for just about four years now, yet every single day I am reminded how very present you are with me still.

I still remember the last day that I saw you. It was two days shy of a month after your birthday … on my birthday. At the time, I believed that the Universe was almost adding insult to injury – we both knew what was coming, and our last day together being my birthday seemed like a cruel joke – but I now consider it a gift, because you are now forever tied to a date that I celebrate in a big way publicly, and in an even bigger way privately.  You knew how much my own birthday meant to me, and now you are permanently a part of the rest of them. Two days less than a month from today, you will be celebrating with me. Thank you. (Apologies to the Universe, too; my head was up my ass.)

I’ve written about you many times (I will be questioning you later to see if you read everything like you said you would!). The very first book I published was a coloring book, of all things, and that was solely because of you; I don’t draw, but I started to after you left – after I wrote out my grief and insanity enough to fill a few notebooks and then ran out of things to say (I know! Wow!). I remember clearly the day I picked up the Sharpie and started doodling on the back cover of the last notebook.

Your passing made me question my beliefs about life itself and life after death, and positively validated all of them – once I reached a point that I was able to start looking at things objectively and without anger.

The lessons you learned for and about yourself during the course of your illness put you in a position to show me (not tell) how to be a better person. I remember one disagreement we’d had that you’d handled so thoughtfullydespite the fact that it might have been caused by some unrealistic expectations on my end. (Maybe.) I was so taken aback by your considerate and fair handling of it that I’d questioned if you were “always like this.” You immediately answered that you were not, and that you were sad that it took the Big C to make you learn that and so many other things. I remember telling my sister about that situation and how she cried at your thoughtfulness – something she’d never experienced to that degree before, either.

My experience of that lesson (and others) of yours have made me very aware of how I react in situations of disagreement (yes, I can even see when I’m being an ass).

That awareness has carried over into many other areas of my life.

I have learned to really believe in the adage, “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I used to think I believed it already, but it goes so much deeper than its first-understood meaning. That has helped me recently, in matters of acceptance over losses I experienced that I have been quite … less-than-willing to resign myself to.

The level of connection we had here is still present. Being able to see it has allowed me to be aware of more connectedness with others around me and the degrees of different connections – and to appreciate all of them.

Our conversations held very little ‘small’ talk. There was no time for that. You were put in a position that called on you to micro-analyze you and everything around you. Through you, I was able to begin to learn to see the ‘bigger picture’ in a way I could not have on my own.

These are only some of the gifts I got from you that I’m aware of. Each day shines a light on something new.

Your gift to me was your presence in my life and your ongoing influence. Thank you. I said this three years ago (A Special Birthday), and I’m saying it again: “It is in this that I find more reasons to celebrate the day of your birth than to solely mourn your passing.” Your birth presented me with so many gifts.
My gift to you is the life that you will continue to live through me.

Happy Birthday.

Does any of this mean I’m happy with all that has happened? No. I would definitely rather be able to look into your face and see the smile that even cancer couldn’t dim; but it does mean that I can find many, many positive and even happy things that would not have occurred if things had been different. I learned, also, that because I have no control over anything other than myself that I should stop wasting energy on futile attempts at control – something I hadn’t realized I did (at least not to the extent that I do).  

I’m pretending that I’m telling you this to your face instead of putting it out into the Universe this way (either way, I know you can hear me), and I can see your smile. It’s a little smug at first because you know you got through my thick skull, and then it just shines on me happily.

And I know just what you’ll say in response: