Friday, January 15, 2010

Heaven Help Me

I need some advice, my ohhh so wise blog friends.

Over a year ago, the lovely and very talented Jayne wrote a post about a visit she received from her grandfather in dream, which I followed up on my old blog with a similar story about a dream-time visit friend of mine. The caveat to these two stories was that the visitor was dead.

I cannot speak directly to Jayne's experience, but in mine, it was as if my dearly departed friend really and truly came to deliver a message. He told me that it was time for him to go, and assured me that he was going to be alright. I awoke feeling better about him and his death. Not good, of course, but measurably less horrible. It was as if he knew I needed to hear it from him, and he came to tell me these comfort me.

Now it has happened again.

My friend that passed away last May from ovarian cancer visited me a few nights ago. I was aware that she was dead, and as she turned to leave me, I asked her, "Is it beautiful where you are?"

She gave me a glowing, healthy smile and said with absolute wonder and conviction, "Oh yes. It really is." Then she was gone. It was beautiful and peaceful and very comforting to me.

Some would say I am crazy. Some would say my subconscious was manufacturing answers to a situation so lacking in them. Some would say it meant absolutely nothing. All of those people could be right, of course.

As all of you know, I struggle with religious ideology. I am very mired down in logic and reason, and as such I have a difficult time with faith. I believe something, but it is difficult to define. My experiences with organized religions have been deeply unsatisfying, and I cannot see past the greed for both power and money that seems ever-present in the business of religion, or the overwhelming hypocrisy that exists in many of these organizations*.

But all of that aside, I do believe, I really and truly do believe, that both D and A really visited me from where ever it is that they have gone. I believe they deliberately came to me to share a message, and that their purpose was to give me some measure of peace.

I believe. Not an easy thing for me to say, but with all that I am, I do believe.

Now here is my dilemma. A left behind a husband, E. I was as close to E as I was to A at one time. I truly and deeply care about E. He is a good man, and he is struggling mightily with A's death. He is hurting. He is angry. He is lost. Knowing this, should I share this dream with him?

While I found her visit to be of tremendous comfort, I don't know that he would. The very last thing I want to do is cause him more pain. Another person I know who lost his wife last year said that the worst thing people can do for him is to bring his wife, and thus his loss, up in every conversation. He is struggling for a sense of normalcy in all of this. He wants to get through the day without all of the sharp reminders of what he has lost being thrust at him from unsuspecting friends and family. It hurts him to talk about her. What if E is feeling the same way? I don't want to rub salt into his wounds.

But then I think of A. She came to me for a reason. Maybe she wanted me to tell E about this. Maybe I have a duty of some sort to do this for her. Maybe it would help him rather than hurt him.

What do you all think? I value your advice, and I really need to know.

*I know not all good religious people are hypocrites. In fact, those of you I know through this blog do not fit that mold at all. But it has been my experience that in a church setting, the good religious folk are quiet in their faith. Those who are pushing, and talking and taking charge tend to be the very worst examples of faith the church has to offer. That is simply my experience, and hopefully, not a universal phenomenon.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Deep down I always new he'd leave me someday. I knew someone else would come along who was bigger and brighter and better. But through our years together, he seemed so happy that I allowed myself to hope that he really loved me enough to stay forever...the way I loved him.

But that's all over now. He has left and I am heart broken.

Of course I should thank him for the good years, because they were very very good. I will look back on those years with complete joy. I know I may very well never see their like and wonderful days with him by my side, smiling that wonderful smile that made me think we had really built something strong and lasting.

But it was all an illusion. At the first sign of trouble, he bolts. Without warning. Without preamble. Poof! Gone!

Many say I should wish him well...I should be happy for him, and want what's best for him. But I don't. I hope his new affair becomes a dismal failure. I hope he has made the biggest mistake of his life. I hope he suffers.

Maybe this is selfish of me, but I don't care. I am bitter, and I freely admit it. Why shouldn't I be? He left me. I adored him, and he just left me here alone and confused. Why should I be happy that he found someone else to share his life? That he left me here, a broken shell of my former self?

Leave if you must...I cannot make you stay. But expect no happy "fare thee well" from me, Pete Carroll.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Auld Lang Syne

On New Year's Eve, I was reminiscing about the December 31sts of yore. Some were hilarious, some disappointing, and some bittersweet to recall, but it was nice to bring to mind some of those old acquaintances, as the song suggests we do.

I clearly remember December 31, 1985...which was 25 years ago now. I was a sophomore in high school, and spent it hanging out with three friends, R, D and J. We were calculating how old we would be in the year 2000...30. D never saw 30, having died in 1993, but the rest of us have long since passed that landmark and hit another. Both of these thoughts were incomprehensible to those 15 year-olds who thought 1987, our graduation year, would just never come.

I also remember December 31, 1980...shooting off pop bottle rockets at midnight with T and her brother B. 30 years later, we are a long way from those wide-eyed kids. T is the mother of four, and lives halfway across the country, but she and I are still friends. B died in the same year as D, over 16 years ago now.

December 31, 1987, my friends and I attended a party, went home and changed into warmer clothes, then drove to Pasadena to watch the Rose Parade. We had been up all night, and we didn't think to bring any food at all. We were starving. My best friend, S, and I went searching for a bathroom around 5:00am, and we found pancakes to go along with it. Pancakes never tasted so good. We returned to our friends, sitting cold and hungry on the sidewalk, saving our places, and we kept our pancakes our sweet, guilty little secret. Later that day, we went to the Rose Bowl game and watched our team get beat; and that night...that night I did something I had never done before, but all of my friends had, because I waited to be in love. It was worth it. I don't know where he is today, but I remember him with warmth in my heart.

December 31, 1992, I was a recent college graduate, and living in Las Vegas. A bunch of my college friends came over, and we spent the night in Downtown Las Vegas on Fremont Street. I had been recovering from a breakup, and feeling sorry for myself. That was one of the first nights I just went out and had fun. I can't honestly saw I remember much of this night, other than the fact that I lost one of my favorite earrings and got sprayed with beer (and God knows what else) at midnight...and I couldn't have cared less. It was one of the best New Year's Eves I can recall. I was completely crazy and completely in the moment. I had my first and only one night stand with an old college friend...not something I am proud of, but not something I regret either. I needed to breakaway from the old and move on. It was a fitting new beginning to a new year and a new life.

The best New Year's Eve I can recall was the very next year...December 31, 1993. Friends from nearly all of my various life experiences seemed to be in town at once. J, my high school friend (the same one from 1985); M & J from college; R, M and P from my stint in New Mexico, and my new boyfriend, P. We spent the night on the Las Vegas Strip. It was crowded and crazy, but we had lots of people with us, so we made sure someone was in line for alcohol at all times, and each time that person purchased a beer and a shot for everyone in the group. This plan paid off in spades. I fell down in the middle of Treasure Island, which I still blame on my new, slippery, boots, and my college friend, J, passed out with her face in the ashtray attached to the side of the trash can. It was absolutely priceless.

The next year, December 30, 1994, M and J from college got married (she kept her face out of the ashtray for that event), and threw a New Year's Eve party the next night for all of their visiting friends. We played a drinking game I had never played before (or since), and I still wish I could remember how it was played. Unfortunately, all I remember was that at one point I had socks on my hands, and everyone's watches on my wrists. Don't ask.

This year I celebrated more quietly, at home with my wonderful husband, my parents and my cousin and her husband. We ate, drank and played cards, kissed at midnight, and called our kids to wish them a Happy 2010. Quieter, yes, but still as wonderful. And I felt much better on January 1st than I did in 1993, 1994 or 1995 (and probably some other years too).

For auld lang syne, my dear,

for auld lang syne,

we'll take a cup of kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.

Here's wishing all of you a very happy 2010.