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
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.
Hi there! I felt the
need to highlight something that I glossed over / overlooked when I was writing
my ReNewal (3) blog post. I was on my
run this morning and doing as I do, I either reflect on the past, look forward
to the future, and also enjoy the moment I am in (particularly breathing, Love
It). So, I was reflecting on my 2013 “Awakening”
/ Shifting year and feeling the gratitude that encompasses it all. But I remembered a Crucial Key that I just
breezed right over in that aforementioned blog post. There was something else in the background at
that time and dawned on me this morning.
I wrote how I was comfortable with the idea of giving up the “dream job”
being a general’s aide in order to assist my incoming boss who was panicking
that I was leaving, and he would be left to fend alone. There WAS something else. My Soul Sister was deployed to Afghanistan
beginning the summer of 2012. It was
strange being on the other end of sending letters and care packages as opposed
to receiving them whilst downrange. She
was always in the forefront of my mind in wishing her well, praying for her
safe return. She was coming back at the
end of July 2013 and was going to be on leave for quite a while. She had this amazing week planned where we
would meet up in Las Vegas and really paint the town. There was one small problem with this plan
though. When I got the job as the
general’s aide, I would NOT be going on the dream vacation / reunion with my
sister. I would be at a general’s beck
and call. I knew she would be incredibly
disappointed and so would have I, even double so as I am on the more empathic
side picking up her disappointment on top of my own. Law of Attraction-wise…I know that deep deep
down I would have wanted to see her again after being separated for more than a
year rather than getting that dream job that I knew was mine. In the blog, ReNewal (3), I got the word that
I didn’t get the position, felt the relief wash over me and an eagerness to Get
to Work for my new boss………and put in my leave papers to go to Las Vegas to be
with my sister. On the run this morning,
I realized what my Heart truly wanted to do.
Be together again with my best friend and see her with my own eyes
knowing that she was back home. Safe and
sound. She truly was the Crucial Key to
get me to my REAL dream job in San Antonio later that year. Amazing!
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
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
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.
I had never heard of the Myers-Briggs personality test
until I went to my “majors” school (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth in the summer of
2015. Apparently, they like to get a
little psychological snapshot assessment of the students before the school year
starts. It turned out that I was the
only INFJ in my small group (15 of us per classroom). Not the only introvert to be sure but it
interested me to dive a little deeper into what this extra label I took on meant
Famous INFJ’s include Oprah, Nelson Mandela and……Adam Sandler? Interesting. Allegedly this particular group I fell into is a very small percentage of the world, 1-2%. Wow. Made sense why I felt so utterly different than the majority, however, it was only two short years before this test that I found I was on more the empathic side. Funny how INFJ’s have been called, The Mystic, The Counselor, and………Empath. So, I was like, Ohhhhhh ok, my labels have all kind of merged together in the same group, INFJ.
There was something else about this INFJ/Empath that helped
me get through all my school years, Marines, Army, virtually everything. The Chameleon. I suppose it’s kind of like a natural defense
mechanism where I was always able to blend in so well. Except for the past few years. I dropped the defense and just allowed Me to
come through. When I had my Shift in consciousness,
I was able to finally stand in my own strength of Who I Am without fear of repercussion
of trying to “fit in” anymore.
It was humorous though when someone in our small group at CGSC found something about the Star Wars character equivalence to the 16 Myers-Briggs personality traits. Good ole Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Counselor. Wait, not just Obi-Wan! From Star Wars: A New Hope, we first meet him as Ben Kenobi. Hey! I’m Ben too! Perfect.
Have a wonderful day, my friends, and if you are an INFJ reading this and are having problems in life then please feel free to drop me a line! Wait a minute, it doesn’t matter if you are an INFJ or not. ANYone having any problems dealing with anything and would like some outside, neutral guidance, then please feel free to drop a line 🙂
I decided to pull a card today from the Butterfly Oracle
Cards for Life Changes by Doreen Virtue.
I wanted to write something at least once a week and the Wednesday mid-week
scene seemed the best time. I just was a
bit unsure though. I have a lot to talk
about but some of these things just do not feel right, right now. Hence the card pulling and see what I Feel
from that. Body Changes. Well that’s interesting. Definitely a lot has transpired there in the
last 25yrs or so. The funny/amazing
thing is that now that I am closing in on 50 in six months, I feel better than
I did at age 20. Seriously, it’s fascinating. I remember in my 20s I would develop
injuries/pain in my ankles and shins back in my Marine Corps days. In my 30s, I was having issues with my knees
on a regular basis. By late 30s/early
40s it was my lower back on top of all of that.
I was breaking down as the years wore on. But……….
By age 43 I changed what I ate (became a vegetarian) and developed my holistic mind/body/spirit regimen. Six years later, as I reflect on the time that has gone by…I feel Great. So much so that I signed up for my next marathon, albeit not until Jan 2020 (and will be approx. a week after I turn 50). The body mind spirit connection is so incredible and you hear these truly inspiring stories out there about older individuals completing the most monumental achievements. I think the one that sticks out the most is a 94yr old lady who was a two-time cancer survivor who became the oldest woman to complete a half-marathon (San Diego Rock-n-Roll 2017), BUT it wasn’t two years earlier that she became the oldest woman to complete a full marathon at 92. Amazing.
The human body is an incredible machine if you treat it
with the utmost respect that it deserves………it’s You.
Last week, my sister inquired about what I had been writing
about lately and I was like, what a coincidence you should ask, I wrote about
my Infinite Christmas. She thought that
was cool but suggested I write about what it’s been like retired for the past
year. Yes. Great idea.
You must understand; I started my military journey in 1992
on Parris Island. This is my THIRD time
getting out and fortunately my last. My
ex-wife convinced me to leave the Marines in 1998 and go to college, get a
degree etc. I compromised with the
caveat of potentially coming back into service as an officer. It was really hard though. I LOVED being a Marine. I loved my job as a combat marksmanship
instructor for Marine Corps Security Forces in Chesapeake, VA. LOVED shooting competitions in the Marines. That was all gone before I knew it and I was
a college student with a bunch of “punk kids” with no discipline in their bodies. I was depressed for over a year. I hated being a civilian. Eventually time has a way of marching you
through and my ex-wife, over the course of the next three years, convinced me
that maybe I should consider joining the Army as an officer…which literally
took three years to finally sit well enough with me. I did it.
I received a BA in History and applied for Army Officer
Candidate School (OCS). Got it. Commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in
the summer of 2002. By spring of 2003 I
was at Fort Bragg and by that November I found myself in Afghanistan. During my time there, my mom was diagnosed
with stage 4 colorectal cancer. It had
already spread to her liver etc.
Unbeknownst to me, my ex-wife at the same time began living a double
life with a man she met while teaching (he was a teacher as well). It wasn’t until I came home from Afghanistan
did I realize how bad things were. Mom
is dying, and wife leaving me. I wasn’t
doing to well but somehow managed to keep it together. At least until spring of 2005 when my mom
died. I made the promotion list for
captain as well around the same time. Also,
around the same time our unit found out it was going to deploy again but to
Iraq this time. Something else was
coming up in the summer of 2005…my three year “obligated” service time as an
OCS commissioned officer. I couldn’t do
this. I was a train wreck. I put in my paperwork to get out. I did not want to. No way.
That wasn’t the plan when I first enlisted in 1992. I was going to serve my time and retire with
honor. I got out and was living out of
my car as a homeless person for three months (that’s a heck of a story). I did find my way back home to Ohio and in
less than a year I was feeling pretty damn good. I wanted back in.
I applied to get my commission back in September 2006 and
by the beginning of August 2007…I was back to finish what I started. I enjoyed the rest of those 10 years until I
retired. I really was going to serve
longer but Trump helped make up my mind on that decision while he was sending
childish tweets to a psychopath less than 200 miles away from where I was
stationed in South Korea. However, the
thing is…I didn’t mind! I was HAPPY to
get out. The process was smooth and enjoyable. I had so many people help mentor me throughout
my last year. It was Great. One year ago last month I was Free of my
obligation. Not just to the Nation but
to mySelf. I made a declaration in 1992
and I was going to complete what I started.
And this past year? It really
flew by! I had some amazing adventures
in Colorado, Arizona, and of course in Texas where I retired to, BUT the best
part of all is that I finally felt satisfied.
I am Living my Best Life and will continue to. My Life My Terms.
Six years ago, and a few months into my Shift in Awareness, I became absorbed by the notion of infinity. I couldn’t shake it. I got infinity paintings and pictures, plus a very cool wooden sculpture. These things all led up to having the infinity symbol tattooed to my upper right shoulder. Christmas that year found me enjoying the holidays with my Soul Sisters and they ensured I had the perfect BenGi Santa hat to celebrate with. After I returned home, and was unpacking, Santa hat fell to the floor. I picked it up and the first thing I saw was my infinity sculpture. Really without thinking, I went over and placed the hat on the sculpture. Infinite Christmas, I thought. A constant reminder to enjoy and celebrate every single day. This Gift of Life we have on a continuous basis.
Over the next year, the sisters came to visit me every now
and then and remarked about how cool it was having Infinite Christmas around me
every day. It must have really struck an
elegant note with them as they had a very special pillow made for me. A Christmas present that following year. Little messages of what they thought made up Me. In the center of it, and in gold letters, Infinite Christmas. It is probably one of the Greatest Christmas
presents I ever received.
I guess my message is this:
Surround yourself with things that are a Reminder of this Gift of Life. It doesn’t have to be an Infinite
Christmas. Listen to your Heart. It will tell you how to honor your Life.
Because I live my life like a mirror, I reflect which I am most
enveloped by. I Choose to be surrounded
by beautiful and amazing things to include a Christmas without end.