Speed Bump Irony

How in the heck can a speed bump ever be ironic?  I’m just baffled and laughing at myself.

Yesterday morning, the cool and slightly interesting thing that I noticed while heading back home on my run was this one particular moment that I was able to witness.  Two cars both going in opposite directions.  Yet somehow they both manage to hit this speed bump at the exact same time.  What was fascinating was that the one car on their way out of the community did not even pause a beat when they hit the speed bump.  Literally just flew right over it.  The other car was incredibly slow and cautious and rightfully so!  It’s a pretty decent bump!  They were driving a sedan and the other speedy person was in some type of sport utility vehicle.

After I witnessed that moment, the gears were turning in my mind.  One of those metaphor moments where some people do not let anything impede their progress while others take things maybe a little too hesitantly.  I had this whole conversation with myself about it for the next 10 minutes or so.  After I got home though, I thought, naw, who needs to hear about the speed bumps that life throws at you.  At least that is until this morning.

I have a marathon coming up in January (a week after I turn 50, yeehaw!) and so I’ve been expanding my run route in my community to roads that I do not normally run on.  Saturday is the long run day, so I was going to do what I did last weekend but add a little more.  No biggie.  So, I am running this morning, haven’t even hit one mile yet and heading down this “new” road which I just expanded on last weekend.  Very dark, streetlamps are out.  Suddenly…BAM!  Foot hits something and I start to stumble forward and I am like, You have got to be kidding me!!!  I just tripped over this exact speed bump one week ago and told myself, in that moment, not gonna happen next week!  But I did!  I couldn’t help myself but to laugh.  ESPECIALLY after my whole speed bump viewing scenario the morning before on a different street!  How ironic.

I know I’m going to let this simmer in the back of my mind for the rest of the day as far as the message to myself.  What is the universe trying to tell me? 

Sometimes you must be cautious, sometimes you need to plow right through no matter the obstacle, and sometimes you just get tripped up no matter what. OR maybe that is a road that I never should go down ever again.

Hmmm.  You hit a bump in the road of life that comes at you unexpectedly and almost miserably fall.  The next time you willingly go down that same road again and the exact thing happens to you.  Maybe you are looking to fall…Don’t. 

I dunno.  They are just speed bumps.  Probably thinking too deeply again haha. On another slightly humorous note…there are no Speed Bump Ahead signs in my community.

Be safe, be well, take care!  

My Mom

Recently, I had the honor and blessing to be a guest blogger for The Godly Chic Diaries ( https://gcdiaries.wordpress.com/2019/08/16/to-jean-love-your-son/ ).  I am so grateful to June for giving me that tremendous opportunity!

My mom had been on my mind and that is who I needed to write about.  I still do.  I wrote about her last moments here on earth and my time that I was fortunately able to spend with her before she moved on.  I wouldn’t be here to write anything at all if she had made different choices in life.  I am so happy she chose to have me, and I believe in my heart that I know she made the right choice as well.

Jean wanted to be a schoolteacher and Ashland College (now Ashland University) is where that dream would come true.  Along with college came meeting boys and for her it was Patrick.  They eventually became intimate and with intimacy came the news that she was pregnant. As far as I knew for years afterward was the story that Pat just cut his ties with her and that was that.  She wanted to have me even though she wasn’t married and back in 1969 that was pretty taboo.  Especially for a family like mine that gets embarrassed over small family dramas.  There were some quick solutions though.  One was to drop out of college.  Another was to move into a small cottage out in the country when she began to show.  The cottage was on a farm down the road from my great aunt and uncle who were good friends of the farmer and his wife.  Next, and shaking my head now writing this at the absurdity, was where I was born.  Luckily for the family, we lived very close to the Pennsylvania border.  They got Jean set up with Sharon General hospital and that is where I was born.  Want to know why?  The local paper would not show my birth record…it would be in another state.  Weird but that was the mentality back then.  It’s like all the sudden Jean disappears and then several months later reappears with a bundle of joy.  You know what?  So what.  She would have gone through all of that again if she had to.

She went back to college after a couple years and took me with her.  There were a couple very cheap babysitters that she could rely on for support while in class.  She finished college and achieved her goal as a single mom.  She was now a schoolteacher and secured a Home Economics teaching position at an inner-city school in Youngstown, OH.  Primarily she was teaching sewing for her first several years which was a humorous detriment to myself.  Detriment at the time and humorous now.  She made a LOT of my clothes.  Don’t get me wrong though, that woman could sew with the best of them.  I believe I drew a line in the sand back in the 80s when I wanted a pair of Jordache jeans like all the other kids and she made me her own version.  It didn’t not go over well with the other kids.  I was called Generic Jordache.  I was mortified BUT as she saw how distressed I was…got me a really cool pair of Jordache jeans. 

I believe I was 10 or 11 years old when I made a discovery in the basement.  An old box with knickknacks and things and some old letters?  From Patrick.  Wow.  No emails back in the late 60s and Pat had a way with words.  Every letter had a different greeting, Dear Sweetie Pie,  Dear My Darling Doll etc, you get the idea.  They were all pretty rated G and full of lovey dovey talk.  I was very intrigued though and could read very well with, thanks to my mom, and extraordinary vocabulary for my age.  There were a lot of letters to read through.  This is the closest I have come to knowing my biological father and my mom’s relationship with him.  I got to the last letter in the stack.  It was a different tone right off the bat because it started off, Dear Jean…that’s strange.  I felt hollow at the end of it.  Numb even.  Even to this day probably the most soul ripping words I had or ever will read.  I will just give the wavetops.  He wanted her to get an abortion.  He had his whole future ahead of him etc.  I took that letter to the backyard and burned it.  My life was never the same since.  My relationship with my mother took on a whole other meaning.  She chose me.  Me.  She had the courage to live in her own truth and integrity.

For several years I was also a bit insecure though as well.  I thought of myself as a mistake.  An error that God made.  Oops.  I always felt so different than everyone else and WAS so different than everyone else that I always attributed it to my being that mistake.  The funny thing is…God doesn’t make mistakes.  I was born for a reason and I am here for a reason.  I will continue to shine my light until my last breath.  My mom brought me into this world.  She took care of me, she nurtured me, and I honor her here and now and Always.  I love you, Mom.

Despair vs Resiliency (A short story)

Who wins in a battle?  A battle against yourself?  Well, hopefully yourSelf wins as opposed to yourself.  On my morning run this morning I was reflecting on the past which I do not normally do.  You know how thoughts are, sometimes coming out of no where like objects floating through outer space.  I was reflecting on the darker side of the Law of Attraction and my own personal battle.  I’ll keep to the wavetops and make as light as possible because there are moments during this dark year that I had which are extremely personal, extremely dark and have only shared it with my two closest friends / soul sisters.  However, to the wavetops…

I went to Afghanistan and came home to find my wife of 10yrs had left me for someone else.  I didn’t even know there was another person until four months after I got home.  I just know those four months were bleak.  All the while during this time my mother is back home in Ohio fighting stage IV colorectal cancer.  My wife finally told me she wanted a divorce.  Shocked.  I was in shock.  The type of personality I am and the way I opened myself up to two becoming One reallllllllllly devasted me.  I was feeling despair.  A few months later my mom passed away.  Single mom who did the best she could raising a little boy on her own (with grandma 😊) moved on to the next stage of life.  I was literally all alone.  The impending divorce created what felt like a rift in my soul.  A despair so deep that most of the time even breathing was a struggle.  My mom’s passing was absolutely terrible.  I became virtually nothing but a being who was dwelling in their own misery.

Not long after my mom passed away, I found out that our unit was going to deploy again in the fall but to Iraq, a new place.  It was early spring at the time and when I found out I knew I had to get out.  I wasn’t fit.  My three-year obligation after commissioning was coming up in June.  I started the paperwork and got out, but…I lingered.  My wife was still in the area as a schoolteacher.  I just couldn’t find a way to leave.  The despair had me swirling around a circle in Fayetteville, NC.

Here it was in action. The Law of Attraction in the worst way that whole year. Always expecting something worse to happen and the worst happens…over and over again. Attracting more darker energy…

I became a homeless person.  I had a car and a little bit of savings.  I lived out of my car.  Gas stations and baby wipes became a way of life for hygiene.  I had a decent plan on sleeping in a safe place every night.  The apartment complex I lived in before I got out was a gated community and we had a sticker in the windshield…a sticker that was never removed.  This particular apartment complex had two others in the area that used the exact stickers.  I rotated between the three locations each night for almost four months.

I couldn’t leave, I just couldn’t.  Mentally I was stuck in a loop.  Despair.  Hope.  Maybe she’ll come back to me.  Maybe maybe maybe.

For some reason it seemed to make sense to go to bookstores and the library to hangout.  Read.  Catch cat naps.  After a couple months it started to dawn on me some of the same people I was seeing at the same locations.  Homeless vets.  Backpacks.  It was so bizarre and yet made some kind of weird sense.  I was beginning to follow the migratory patterns of a homeless vet near Fort Bragg.  I knew that eventually I would have to lose the car, grab a pack and join them.

TAP TAP TAP.  I was woken up at 6am in one of the apartment complex parking lots.  A female police officer was waking me up with her flashlight on my window.  “Sir, someone has noticed that you have been sleeping in your car an awful lot around here…”  I made up some kind of excuse about how my wife and I were having problems…not too far from the truth.  “Well you can’t sleep in your car, sir…”

Finally.  A catalyst to snap me out of it.  A break in the vicious mental loop.  Just enough to hear the Voice, “Go Home”.  It was just enough time for that Voice to create an interruption and my resolve to end this came pouring out.  This was a true test of my resiliency and whether or not I would actually Listen to the guidance being given to me.  I really wanted to give in to the despair.  To abandon my car and just become…Nothing.  A shadow.  That resiliency in my Soul brought me back.  To Fight for my Life.  To Live.  To Shine.