A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.
It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year since the passing of my younger sister, Jessica. A whole year! Time flies by when you are living, I guess.
It’s been a long and painful year, full of ups and downs. It’s also been a very enlightening and freeing year. Every day I wake up and give thanks to the Universe for helping me break free of so many unhealthy and one-sided friendships. Friendships I had clung to because I am just that kind of caring and loving friend. Friendships that I believed would be forever. I also give thanks, love, kisses and hugs daily to my children, husband, and pets. For without them I wouldn’t be able to function, even a fraction of what I do now. They are the glue that holds me together.
I have spent several of the last few weeks trying to prepare myself for this day. Some people may find it unhealthy to place so much emphasis on the anniversary of a loved one’s passing. I don’t. I find it perfectly normal to get your emotions, thoughts, and memories in order before the day hits. Then again, I’ve seen more death in my lifetime then most and at a younger age. This is why some of the things people say just knock me out cold. I mean do these people even know what it is to lose a sister? We’re not talking about comparison here. We’re not talking about who has suffered more. We’re talking about how someone can tell another person how to deal with something that they’ve never been through! It’s like saying that the pain of giving birth is nothing compared to menstrual cramps, yet you’ve never given birth. That’s like me telling someone who lost their mom to “get over it, it happened while she gave birth to you.” First of all, I’d never say that. One because I am just a caring, sympathetic person and that comment is one only an asshole would utter. Secondly, I’ve never lost a parent yet, knock on wood. So obviously I have never been close to that same situation. Lastly, just because you might not have known your mother doesn’t mean you have no connection to her. You have a connection that nobody else has with her. You have the connection of coming to life and growing inside her and you also have the guilt. Nobody wants to blame anyone but, Lord knows many a child has been shunned and abused by their father or family for “killing” their mother. It’s asinine and it sucks and well… people can just be irresponsible loudmouth jerks.
I don’t just mourn one day a year. I mourn throughout the year. A happy memory from my childhood could start out so wonderful and the more my mind remembers the bond we once shared the more painful it becomes… Then walks in the guilt, shame, regret, and the tears. Let’s not forget the tears that strike at any given moment. And usually, when this happens I become distant, as I try to remove the horrific pain from my soul. I revert to that scared little child looking for a place to hide from the monsters that were enclosing upon me. I don’t do it intentionally, it’s automatic, instantaneous, habitual, and it’s how I grew up without being more screwed up then I already am.
If you’ve never lost someone you know, count yourself lucky because it never is easy and won’t get any easier as you age either. It’s a painful thing to experience and even though you try and tell yourself that they are in a better place with no more pain, you can’t help but to question why you are left to carry the painful burden. Why do some people get out and some of us have to stay and experience more than our fair share of suffering? Outliving those you love has to be one of the most stressful things you could ever experience.
It reminds me of my grandma who has outlived all of her siblings. (She is the oldest of 4.) How excruciating it must be to have none of them left. To have no parents left. To only have your grown children, and grown grandchildren (1 of the 4 gone a year now), and great-grandchildren left. But, she doesn’t have all of them with her. All she has at this very moment is my mom. The rest of us are too far away and some of the great-grandkids don’t even know of her and may never know her. That is some very sad sad shit if you ask me. I know she puts on a brave face but, just as I know how much it hurts me, I know it hurts her a lot too. Death sucks bigtime!
So the next time a person decides to tell another person who they should care for, who they should mourn for, how long they should mourn, etc… Bite your damn tongue!
As the Cherokee Proverb goes:
“Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.”
Unfortunately, many people don’t understand this because they think it’s easy to just put on someone’s shoes and that’s that. So let me give you one more, so you really grasp what it is I am saying to you…
“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1960
We all need time to handle our unresolved business. And nothing is more unresolved then a loved one who dies suddenly. Nothing can be resolved when you don’t get to say good-bye. There is no peace of mind when it comes to all the questions that will never be answered. There is no possible way to “just let it go and move on” when no one is held accountable.
If you want to help someone who is hurting, mourning, grieving, dying in mind, soul, and heart… send them your love. Send them your sympathy. Let them know that it even though she wasn’t your sister you hurt because you see your friend hurting. Check up on her and let her know she isn’t alone. That’s all you can do.
And trust me when I say, anything else that you might think is helpful but comes off asinine will be met with rudeness and anger. Do you want your friend to curse at you for being a jerk? No, you don’t! Keep in mind this little bit of information… Everyone dies eventually and there will come a time when death will strike in your home. Don’t be left alone without comfort from your friends because you thought they were taking too long to heal over their loss. You will find out soon enough that healing on the inside always takes longer than healing on the outside.
As for this day, well… it had its ups and downs. (Look for my favorite moment from today on Friday.) I cried a lot here and there. Wiped my tears, loved on my children, drank some wine, listened to The Beatles and John Lennon, burned meditation candles, stared at Buddha while the candles flickered, laughed a bit, cried some more, loved on all my friends who came to my side, and well… I got through the first year deathaversary of my sister, Jessica Rae.
And to my mom, grandma, grandpa, and brother…I love you more than there are stars in the heavens. Even if I don’t believe in a heaven per se… I believe that Jess is among the stars waiting for us. Right now all we can do is be the best people we can be while we are here. Forgive those who’ve wronged us… that hate is only hurting us, we don’t need more hurt. Love those who are still here… they need our love and we need theirs. “Love is the answer.”
May you all be safe, sound, and find the strength to be where I am at!
YouTube Tuesday, adopted from Josh at Its Tiger Time, is a day set aside for sharing your favorite video.
Feel free to join in each week and see how creative we bloggers can be. Each month, Josh will highlight a selected video and present the winner with the ‘YouTube Tuesday’ Award.
If you participate, remember to leave your YouTube Tuesday link at Its Tiger Time as well as all the blogs you visit.
Unless you were under a rock for the last two weeks… you might have heard that the greatest of great, soulfullest of souls, the talented Etta James passed away on Jan.20th. Well this isn’t Etta singing in Heaven but, it is a tribute to her heavenly music. Christina Aguilera belts out ‘At Last’ while attempting to keep her voice and eyes tear-free at Etta’s funeral. Sing that sh*t Christina. Let that pain be felt by every soul in the world…
And here is Beyoncé covering ‘At Last’ in the movie Cadillac Records. (2008)
And last but certainly never least and in my opinion the ONLY one who could ever sing this song with all the painful love it rightfully possesses and projects… is Etta James herself!
We love you and R.I.P. Etta! May God have you perched beside him with a Golden Microphone in your hand leading his Holy Choir!!!
At Last-Etta James (1960)
My love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
Oh yeah yeah
The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clover
The night I looked at you
I found a dream, that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to press my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known
Oh yeah yeah
You smiled, you smiled
Oh and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
for you are mine…
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month as many of you know. Before I even get into this post I want to say thank you to everyone who has taken part in the Breast Cancer Awareness movement this month. So many of you have truly shown your support and respect for me, by placing my BCA (Breast Cancer Awareness) post button on your blogs. A few of you have shown me remarkable love by changing your Facebook avatar to the picture I made for my sister. I am honored to call you all friends!!!
I fully intended to write a post yesterday, the first day of October, about my sister’s Breast Cancer story. I wrote and wrote, and the words poured from my soul as they always do in my writing. But, as I was writing there came a moment when the pain took over my fingers and by the time I had realized I was over 1000 words. I stopped and reread the last couple of paragraphs… I can’t post that agony here, because…
Not only is my heart aching for the loss of my sister but, I am still angry. I am angry at a God who claims to love his children but, allows their lives to be Hell. I am angry at doctors who didn’t catch the cancer in time for my sister to be able to fight it. I am angry at family members who instead of pulling us together in our darkest hour, decided instead to tear us apart further. I am angry at myself for not being there with her…for not taking our conversations more seriously…for not having money to pay for an autopsy… for not being able to fight cancer for her…and most of all for thinking that some people who are Breast Cancer survivors and battling it, are still taking their lives for granted. In a nutshell, I AM ANGRY!!!
My sister was 33 years old when Breast Cancer took her life, 3 days after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. She’s dead now, do you comprehend that? She is DEAD! She had no chance to fight, no chance at all. I don’t blame anyone for that, it happened for a reason. I am still wondering the exact reason but, it was for a reason. Cancer has affected me… it has taken from me…it has changed me, and I am NOT even the one who was diagnosed.
But, is it not true, that a cancer diagnosis affects more people than just the one who has the cancer? It should but, in most cases it doesn’t. I can tell you this in all honesty, with every bit of my soul showing, that many people on this planet are too self-absorbed to realize; that it is affecting them whether they have a personal relationship with someone who has cancer or not. They fail to realize that if they don’t stand up, unite, and fight with those who are fighting right now…there won’t be anyone fighting for them when their time comes. And believe me when I say, it is much closer than you can fathom.
I don’t expect sympathy for my sister’s untimely death. I expect unity to battle a disease that is devastating our families, our friends, our planet. I don’t want to be known as a hero because I survived my sister’s death to Breast Cancer and wrote a few paragraphs about it. I want to be remembered for my small place among a large group of heroes who fought against this horrific disease. I don’t ever again want to feel like I did when Breast Cancer took my sister’s life. I never again want to tell someone I love; be it family or friend, that I am sorry you have cancer.
I am pushing this Breast Cancer Awareness movement because the fact of the matter is, nobody is untouched by it. If you think you are, wake up, because you are dreaming. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who has cancer in one of its many hideous forms or another. You, reading this post, are 1 degree separated from Breast Cancer, Leukemia, Throat Cancer, Stomach Cancer, and Pancreas Cancer; because I have lost family to all of those cancers. Just knowing me through this blog post right here, makes you that much closer to the effects of these despicable diseases. That tear that slid down your cheek as you read my anguish, were the effects of cancer, my dearest reader!
Now that you realize how close cancer is to you… what are you going to do about it?
Please get involved! Support cancer awareness in the form of donations; by donating directly or buying products that give. Support sites and organizations that focus on helping Cancer victims and their families. Support it by wearing the cancer colors, i.e. pink for Breast Cancer. Support it by searching on Facebook for the different cancers and liking the pages. Support it by joining in on events such as the Breast Cancer Awareness challenge event that I have going on this month. Support organizations that specialize in awareness, early detection and free cancer screenings. And most importantly support it by getting yourself checked often (men too, you are not immune) and spreading the word to everyone that Cancer is trying to kill us all.
Don’t let it!!! Stand up, unite, and do something about it!
Before you leave here today, please click on the Breast Cancer Site button in my sidebar and give a woman the gift of a free mammogram.
Note: Throughout this post are many links, ones that lead to sites to support and several that will take you to my blog posts about my sister and Breast Cancer. Please find time to check them out and comment. Thank you.
Of course I am an aunt to all my husband’s nieces and nephews as well but, this special post goes out for the birthday boys.
I haven’t gotten a chance to hold my nephews let alone spoil them rotten or even throw them a huge party. As sad as I am about that, I am much sadder that their mom isn’t there to do those things neither.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 6 months already since Jess passed. It still feels so surreal to me. She would go M.I.A. for months at a time and if I don’t think about it too much it’s as if she is still here. But, when I see a movie or hear a song, I get slapped back into reality. She’s gone and isn’t coming back ever! That fucking sucks!!!
Jess left behind 4 beautiful children and it hurts my soul so much that I haven’t had a chance to spend the time that an aunt should get with her nieces and nephews. On top of that I don’t even have pictures. Well, luckily my mom has a chance to spend time with the boys and I can get pictures from her but, it’s just not the same as being there or taking the pictures yourself. I will take what I can get though because that’s what a loving aunt does… happily accepts what is offered her with a saddened heart but, keeps her tears hidden from the world and still says thank you.
But, today I won’t complain and I won’t cry because I can’t see my nephews on their first birthday. Instead, I will sob silently for my sister while the Happy Birthday song will loudly flow from my still grieving soul. I will sing so loud that the heavens will have no choice but, to open up and send angels down to sing along with me!
Happy Birthday Harley and Marley… Your aunt Jenni loves you very much! And because your mom loved how crazy I could be and was so ecstatic every time I listened to New Kids On The Block… I must post a birthday video for you both so that you can know a small portion of your mom and my childhood memories.
I have shed blood, sweat,immeasurable tears
Stared bluntly in the face of my greatest fears
I have had good thoughts and some insane
Some brought me great pleasure some brought me great pain
I have been free and trapped in a cage
Been bursting with love and insufferable rage
I have known death and I have known birth
Seen Heaven and Hell in my life on this Earth
I have been lost and also been found
Been lifted up high and kicked down to the ground
I have turned hate to love and love into hate
Done magnificent things, a few not-so great
I have several friends, enemies too
Some of them old and some of them new
I have spoken with ink, lips and heart
Written and read inspirational art
I have lived life as well as I could
Some parts might have been bad but, most parts were good
I will rise up each time that I fall
For life is worth living so I give it my all
Unless you have been living under a rock like the men in the Geico commercial, you have heard that Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, today. I don’t want to go into details or throw my opinion all up in people’s faces because the fact of the matter is anger, hate and death threats against Casey will not bring back little Caylee and she is what is most important in this whole monstrous ordeal.
What I do want to do though is spread awareness for this event that is on Facebook Porch lights on for Caylee Marie Anthony. I want the world to take a minute out of their busy lives and acknowledge that this child died in a horrendous way and turn on your porch lights from 9 Pm-6 Am in whatever time zone you are in. It’s the least we can do to honor the short life she had on Earth.
I also want to say that it is time that we educate our own children and let them know that whatever your beliefs may be… Murder should NEVER be used as a form of birth control. No child should be brought into this world just for a couple of years and then their parent gets bored and wished they had just got a puppy instead so they kill their child. I have said it before and I will say it again…. PROTECT THE CHILDREN!
No matter if you think Casey was guilty or not she was found by the judicial system to be not guilty so let’s focus on the truly important thing here…. the child who was sacrificed for a Bella Vita.
Also you can sign the petition to create Caylee’s Law.
Please click on the Facebook link, join the event and don’t forget to Put Your Lights On for Caylee Marie Anthony.
At long last… I finished my Sonnet homework last week and can now share it with you all. Hope you enjoy it, it took me 3 hours but, I am content with the outcome.
I must not grieve thee nor shed a lone tear
I must proceed as if I do not care
For weeping makes losing you worse my dear
Agonizing memories I cannot bear
Every dewy teardrop that escapes me
Burns my flesh like the fiery depths of hell
I must not succumb to sorrow of thee
For I shall be reminded of our farewell
But, weeping cleanses the grief-stricken soul
Easing each previous moment of pain
Allowing the broken to become whole
Sanctioning lovely memories again
Dire sorrow causes me not to cry
But, sans tears for your loss I’d surely die
Tired of shaking I am losing control
too much anxiety has taken its toll
adrenaline pumping all through my veins
standing here naked body wrapped up in chains
I’m a prisoner help me let me out of this cage
theres nothing more deadly then a heart full of rage
I scream through the cell hoping someone will hear
a voice dark and low says “you have nothing to fear”
“GOD is that you?” I reply in the dark
“You know the answer” its says “look deep in your heart”
“GOD I cant see, are you really here now?”
“All in due time but first you must say this vow”
“GOD I’ll do anything just free me from this hell”
“I have you my child there’s no need to yell”
” What must I do GOD just tell me I’m in”
” First you must bow and let me wipe you from sin”
“Oh GOD I am sorry I was wrong please forgive me”
“Your prayer has been answered now just open your eyes and you’ll see”
So I opened my eyes and got such a surprise
standing before me was not GOD but SATAN with snake eyes
“Lucifer it is you i thought u were GOD
how could you do this why the facade?”
“Child not everyone who hears you is GOD dont you know
take my hand and I’ll show you the right way to go.”
“I cannot do that I wont go with you
I’d rather be dead then sell my soul like a fool.”
“Child you are mistaken it’s too late you’re all mine
for it wasnt you who made your life contract it was your parents who signed!”
My heart has stopped beating
my happiness is fleeting.
I need you in my life right now
I hang my head I begin to bow.
You are not here but yet you are,
so close yet so far.
My tears run down my face all day
I can see you run I see you play.
Your scent is all around me
you are more then a memory.
Feels like someone has cut my heart out of my chest
I try and sleep my mind never at rest.
I watched you slowly die
my eyes stung I began to cry.
I held your body against my chest
I wondered if I gave my best.
I thought that it was time to let you go in peace
only God could make your suffering cease.
I held your head to me so close
while the needle injected its lethal dose.
In that moment I felt you leave
my body consumed by unbearable grief.
Your body lie there your soul has flown
the room is full yet I am all alone.
Life goes on or so they say
but most of me is with you and gone away.
Life is not about what you do
it is about those you love and whom love you.
I know this pain I feel today
will never end just slowly fade.
My body shakes my tears they flow
I know you are with me everywhere that I go.
I’m sorry my friend for it ending like this
but know it is you that I will forever miss.