Some words before sleep

I have been avoiding this.

Making it out to be bigger than it really is; a vomit of random thoughts.emotion.experience.life.

I never know which direction I’ll turn at the end of each sentence. At the end of each thought – traveling spiderwebs of cognitive association; tangents of inner dialogue living on a beggars diet of pity for my shade amongst the stars.

I’ve done the planning. Built metaphorical notebooks of genius topic from which I run because

Time

Excuses

Pain too much to bare. And “when I overcome this ditch the words will flow unhindered – never once triggering a descent back down the spiral of broken dreams.”

Lies and detriment towards the progression of the uncharted. Stagnation- treading water when I could explore the sea

Of heart

Of hope

Of happiness realized by pulling the veil of an undertow down further than

I could ever reach. So where do I begin? How tired I’ve become just trying to keep my head above water. When will I reach the land? As I’ve failed to extract oxygen from hydrogen as the mermaids do. Is my story to drown and be forgotten? Tiny as a spec of salt in the expanse of a vastly unknown universe.

Or can I build a presence bigger than a birdhouse? Some god of a tree selecting me to hang high above the ground in a kingdom built bigger than prey to the eye of an eagle.

Sleep beckons and my cell flashes red warnings that it’s below 5%. Pause all nonsensical ramblings and retire to bed. There is nothing left of this night but tomorrow.

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Returning Home

Written Jan 15 & 23 and saved as a draft. My January ran away from me with the onset of College and a mini vacation. I hope to get into a regular blog habit. I’m still trying to get caught up from our trip while forging new routines in 2018.

The most amazing thing happened last weekend; my boy came back home. In the 3am hour of Saturday all in the house were asleep. Cleo, our 5 year old black lab sleeping in the living room began barking. She ran to the bedroom and put a nose in Tim’s hand to “wake up.” It sounded as though there was someone or something at the front door and she kept barking with each vibration of the metal screen that echoed after each hit. Occasionally the cats climb the screen when the kibble runs out but this was much different- stronger, as though one were knocking.

I laid in bed and listened. There are some aspects of being a woman I particularly enjoy which include sending out my man to investigate scary noises past sunset and killing spiders (of course.) I listened while he opened the door and then the rest happened so quickly and with such a commotion that the events all blur together in a surrealistic undream were reality produces the kind of results that one cannot fathom as possible. SHOCK.

Tim said before he had opened the door he had heard whining. After opening the door, peering through the screen into the darkness I heard him say, “Bailey?” Then he opened the screen, “Bailey?” Followed by indiscernable commotion, and “Honey! Bailey is home!” Seconds later a wet dog jumped on my bed whining, and greeted me with a cold nose. After missing for 44 days in a California winter, my 4 year old yellow lab found his way home @ 3:27 am on January 13th.

This past week has been absolutely surreal. It’s a miracle. For the first hour he was back he whined each time we touched him. Now I know it was just his way of crying because he had missed us so much. At the time we weren’t sure if he was hurt. Tim dryed his fur as I cleaned up a pile of his puke in the hallway. The puke contained macaroni, mushrooms, carrots, corn, in a white sauce base- homemade pasta or grocery store macaroni salad? It was evidence that someone had captured him and kept him for the last month and half. We suspect a homeless person due to the Nextdoor tip we received online -someone stated they had seen him being walked by leash while eating at Black Bear diner which connects to a dirt path that leads to the river trail. Tim and I had walked along those paths many times during the first few weeks of his absence, calling his name, and talking with the many small groups of homeless we found in tents or walking.

We had searched for weeks and even offered a reward – one that any poor man could not refuse. But in the end he got free and found his way home. He came home skinny and tick infested. We took him for a bath at pet express a few hours later and scheduled the first pet doc visit available.

So far he hasn’t suffered from any ailment. I am blessed our future with him has been extended.

Forgotten Change. And Failing into and old Routine.

How many days? Ambitions unfulfilled amongst the tide of repetitive failures. Beginning is the easy part- following through however, is an ability I’m still striving to acquire.

Pray tell, what were the excuses on the wind? The year anniversary of a step-daughters abandonment? Her birthday and the reminder of seven years of unrequited love.

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An infection of winter in the bones that tethers one to bed with dis/ease and restlessness. Rain. Rain. Rain. Pain. Disillusionment- a sacrificial effigy of spirit and spunk that sunk with the ship of the second week in a promising new year. I continue to trip over the feet I trained to walk with the year of 2017. This is not the time to give in and give up. Rather it’s the time to realize I will continue to fall into old old habits until I carve new grooves in the stone to walk, skip, run, and dance with ease. Chisel to hard stone, chip, chip, chipping away at a substance harder than bone. Earth carved in concrete of an American Suburban CityScape. Practice is the magic behind every success. But I’ve yet to play this melody more than two fingers time.

From what I have learned I am the only one of this house that can withstand the cold. And wakes to comfort or tend to the needs of the remaining bodies when necessary. When the toddler woke from nightmare for the second time last night I brought her to bed. She slept as a princess, while the hubby and I were absolutely miserable. I awoke many times after the 32 pound octopus kicked or slapped me in my sleep (I was not alone. He complained as such.) When the hubby is sick or hurt I rise up to treat his malaise. And when I suffer similar circumstance I hear the mutterings of “Mothers don’t get days off.”

But what of the Non-Mother who has no say in court ordered appointments. Who was willing to adopt non-child of seven years of love from child to teenage years. Who was never shown true love from the fear it would harm her biologically-abusive-DNA-Contributor that used her as a weapon to attempt to destroy ex…

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There was so much more I wanted to say. A list of topics ran through my head as I rocked to toddler to sleep. But this was the outcome- One of the many that coalesced my thoughts.

A part of me is annoyed at every depressing post that has bleed from my fingertips since I begun this blog. Another part has realized it’s therapeutic effect on my life. With “Sleeping with His Smell” I’ve gained the ability to stay in bed each time I wake.  I am healing(?) There is a release from sharing my words. Resolutions and healing elements ebb from the tides of tapp-tapp-tapping on the keyboard.

It’s just the beginning. It’s full of tears and sorrow. I could question the title of this blog… But stick with me and I’m sure you will witness the smile that emerges with time. Forgive me if the image I currently focus upon is that of the ocean breaking upon rocks. One day we may see that girl who runs freely through wet sand as waves climb to greet her toes.

Sleeping with His Smell

It’s becoming a habit. When I wake between 2-3am in the middle of the night sleeping in my bed becomes unmanageable. I’ve stopped crying; the worry, the sadness, the guilt- but I can’t fall back to sleep. He used to be there. Laying next to me. When I woke in the middle of the night I could cuddle and pet him until I drifted back into a quiet, restful mind.

It’s been 4 weeks since he disappeared. I was at the college. It was the Thursday before finals. When I got home at 2pm I learned he had gotten out around noon. My mother had been babysitting my daughter when she accidentally let our two dogs out of the house to get the mail. Cleo, our  5 yr old black Lab had come back. Bailey, our 4yr old yellow lab never did.

We’ve looked. Shelters, vets, animal control, facebook and next door groups, posters… The hubby and I have been out multiple times walking trails along the river; calling his name and questioned or searched every homeless camp we found.

Now when I wake the space between the hubby and I is occupied with blankets. He is gone. My 65 lb yellow lab is gone. Just weeks before he disappeared when the holidays were coming near I said “when I smell him I feel love.” We had developed a huge bond this past year. In May he had possibly eaten poison. He almost died. He spent 3 days with the vet and we brought him home not knowing if he would survive. We had to wait through the weekend to see if he would improve or if we had to put him down. Our emergency fund had run out and we didn’t have the hundreds to thousands more to spend for more tests. Truth was we never found out what was wrong- the next test was over $400. So we brought him home with experimental medicine and food. He survived.

After being sick he changed. It probably took a few years off the end of his life but he was better again, he was healthy. But it had changed his mind / personality a touch. His anxiety level increased. He was the same loveable, gentle giant, but the fear in him had risen. And when he got out once before he didn’t come back home. The hubby had to get in his jeep and found him two blocks away. Just the sight of our jeep made the dog happy and he jumped in without hesitation. That wasn’t like him at all. He had never strayed very far from the house before. He had never strayed very far from my side. When I was around, he was in the room.

The day he disappeared the hubby and I were both gone. My mother was watching my 3 year old. She tried walking down the street but didn’t have a car seat to take the toddler in car. She texted my Husband but he was at work. He came 30 min later and spent over 2 hours looking for him. Some had sighted him over a mile away 30 min after he got out- but from there the trail dissappeared. It’s been a month now.

In the middle of the night when I can’t sleep I come to his spot on the couch. I can still smell him on the couch and on the blanket. I lay my head on a pillow near his scent and instantly I feel calmer, relaxed. The couch is old and quite uncomfortable with springs that dig into my shoulders and back, but it’s all I have left.

Saying Goodbye 

I never was good at saying goodbye. There was always an awkwardness and underlying mix of fear. Because one never knows what goodbye will be the last. Accident, suicide, cancer, divorce, lies of love and loyalty… Whenever I think of you I’ll remember our last days together, our last moments. And I’ll remember myself as being an idiot- awkward with sweaty palms tripping over words and stuttering. It’s called anxiety, or stupidity. Whatever definition suits the mindset best.

I’m still grieving even if I didn’t want to admit it. Somehow I feel as though multiple people with opposing beliefs, emotions, and reactions are experiencing my every moment simultaneously. I’m having trouble deciphering the truth as many layers of the present lay on a stream of negatives with multiple exposures. When I thought I was making some distance from the issue it appears all I’ve done is lay a white sheet over it. Out of site and off my mind- what isn’t there cannot hurt me. Until the wind picks up… And I notice the dinosaur in the kitchen making it impossible to prepare a decent meal. Have I really been surviving off frozen burritos and ramen this entire time? Is it a wonder I’m wasting away?

Metaphorically of course.

We build our lives with bodies, minds, hands, hearts, tears, and smiles. Words and emotions are mixed within the meanings behind each memory. I want to move forward. I want to heal. I want to live and be strong for those I love. I want to build an empire. These aren’t my first steps but the first I will lay down in this account of my journey.