For the Birds

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

“They, my parents, did what?” I asked.

We do so solemnly swear this Last Will and Testament leaves everything we have to the birds.

Mind spinning.

This can’t be happening. It’s a joke right?

I thought for a moment that maybe they were filming a new episode of punk’d or impractical jokers. I was the star of the show.

Being an only child has its pros and cons. That’s where I come in.

Me. I’m the only child.

I spent years overlooking that my parent’s bought love and that my needs were typically met with the almighty dollar.

I found for myself personally that the end result of a love like that would only destroy me later in life. Literally. You will read of how easy it is to go from a million dollars, to a million pieces through this short story.

Separated from my parents over foolish pride, I needed to go back home.

Not sure exactly why the pull was so strong, but it was. I’m hesitant but know that it is necessary. I hope it will put us on the path to rekindle and add what was always missing.

That mother, father, daughter bond thing. Something money can’t buy.

Sure it was cool to spend and not worry about one single financial thing. In fact, really cool. Until it wasn’t. Cool actually smacked me in the face, and left me bruised and burned. I was good at wrecking cars and airbags always seemed to get in my way. Today I can thank God for that.

Speaking of airbags, as I crash my corvette into the garage door of my childhood home driven by anxiety.

Someone take the keys because I can’t even park a car. Nervous and terrified to see them face to face again.

I made it though. I stepped out of the car that barely showed a scratch, we won’t tell anyone about the garage door.

I’m really surprised no alarms went off. “Why aren’t the dog’s barking?” I wondered as I take the long sidewalk to the front door.

Anxious does not even begin to describe the way I’m feeling right now. I want to throw up.

Are they going to slide a check under the door or actually invite me in?

Will they be in a hurry for me to leave; afraid of more disappointment from their tarnished golden child?

If only they will let me in, I can explain.

All the chaos that once came with me is gone. Okay so maybe I still need to work on proper drive way etiquette but other then that, I took a turn somewhere and it showed me the true meaning of life.

Money can buy a lot of things, but it can not fix what’s broken from the inside out unless you’re referring to liposuction.

Long story short, I was a wild child who bought and paid for everything from money I didn’t have to earn.

I ended up alone, and clinging to life with the help of a ventilator. I had burnt all my bridges. A million dollars turned into a million pieces of a broken heart.

Recovering from an overdose has this strange way of connecting you with the right people. I found myself surrounded by individuals from all walks of life, and they guided me to a path that ultimately turned my life around.

My parent’s even did the research to try and understand why I, “turned out the way I did,“ having anything money could buy.

We raised her better then that. She had everything going for her, they said on many occasions.

Except I didn’t. The only thing I had going for me was a fat bank account bought for from mommy and daddy dearest and love meant money, until not even money was enough to live for.

This is interesting, I thought. A for sale sign placed at the end of the driveway. “Where are they going?” I wonder.

By now you get the picture I’ve painted, and that I have every intention of telling my parents I love them, have missed them, and that I would enjoy getting to know them personally.

I will always love and be grateful for the nannies but I’ve missed Mom and Dad, my whole life. The bank account was fun but now it isn’t what matters to me most. Money was lonely.

I push the door bell. Palms sweaty, knees weak. I am shocked as the doorbell starts singing to me.

“Don’t you want somebody to love” by Jefferson Airplane.

Hello. Who are you, and what have you done with my parent’s?

I smell patchouli mixed with body odor as the door cracks open. No face to go with the hand.

I’m given a piece of paper.

It’s a living will and last testament.

Clearly my parent’s have lost their minds.

I, Anna Doe, and I, Wayne Doe, both being of at least 18 years of age, do hereby make this our Last Will and Testament. Revoking all prior Wills and Codicils heretofore made by us.

We have spent our fortune on a nude beach where we plan to live off the land. We now have only one dollar left to our name. We would like to give that last dollar to The Bird Watchers foundation of America.

Photo credit to Bournemouth Echo

We would also like it to be known from this document that it is realized we can’t take life for granted, and to all of you we bought and paid for, we apologize.

If our daughter shows up and asks where we are, this document is to be given to her as an apology for all the years we missed out on her life and didn’t get to know her. We waited by the phone as long as we could.

Let said document guide her to the valley of peace, love and forgiveness. Where we will be waiting to welcome her with loving arms.

May she be humbled and proud to know we decided to live out the end of our life naked, free and loving Mother Earth.

Dated and Signed

Mr. and Mrs. Doe

To the birds?, seriously? I suppose now is the appropriate time to say, be careful what you wish for.

My parents.

Nudists?

Living out wanderlust?

What’s love got to do with it?

This story took a turn, not even I saw coming.

I feared more rejection and some cash and I got news they bought a nude beach and left the last dollar to the birds.

Did they at least leave a forwarding address for me to find them?

Nothing like the thought of your parents owning a nude beach to get through this thing called life.

Naked or not, I do love my parents.

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

Hart Island

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

https://gothamist.com/news/mass-burials-hart-island-increase-fivefold-covid-19-death-toll-skyrockets

Hart Island
Bronx, New York

Hart Island Mass Graves 2020
Photo credits to John Minchillo AP Shutterstock

One photo. A million questions. Goosebumps flooding my skin. Tear buckets weighing heavy and they are hurting. My feelings as I learn more are that I need to always show and tell my loved ones how much they mean to me. By the grace of God I sit and write this today.


This entry is informative and truly touched my heart. I hope by sharing this it gives you some insight into a potter’s field. What it means and why it exists. I’ll share facts and personal feelings. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me as I try to take you inside some history of Hart Island and the effects of Covid-19 and Hart Island today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potter%27s_field


In the 1920’s Fredrick R. Barnard said “A photo is worth a thousand words.” I wonder if he saw photos from Hart Island?
What I saw today left me speechless. It also gave my inquisitive mind work to do.
It was just a quick glance as for the photo looked like what I remember a salvage yard or a waste site looking like.
I bypassed the article but I couldn’t stop seeing the image. It wasn’t long and I began my hunt to find the article again.
I did discover why that photo was haunting me.
What I read this morning turned what was already a strongly surreal morning into a rather strong awakening.
On my journey to learn more I found multiple articles. Many authors, facts, tweets and comments exist.
It didn’t take long to read the thousand words that photo was speaking to me. It displayed a large square shaped hole in the dirt being filled with what appears to be pine wood caskets.
Something newly discovered by myself in my researching is that of a “Potters field.”
I thought the photo I had seen had to be from a piece of history I had never learned in school attached to an article about an old war.
I was close in my thoughts but the reality hit me like a freight train.
This photo and the article I discovered are not old. In fact they are new and now. With or without the Corona Virus. It happens every day. If a transient leaves this world and the body goes unclaimed they typically will be found laid to rest amongst a Potters field.
I don’t think we see it because routinely we have family and funerals.
Whether we are homeless or not. We simply don’t pay attention to truth and surrounding realities unless we are in it personally or someone hands it to us to see.

We skip over those ugly realities on purpose because it doesn’t pertain to our daily lives.
We carry on and live each day as a new day the best we can, hoping we did enough.
This article I read displayed photos which could make the strongest go weak in the knees and weep. I hope they haunt me forever because I think, in a sense, it is very humbling.
Keep your loved ones close folks.

Why did this come to me and sit so heavy on my heart today? Of all days? Easter 2020.
Mass graves. Numbered caskets.
I’ve always had an enquirers mind and have already spent several hours researching this Island and it’s purpose. This island has been used for multiple reasons, a burial ground amongst them, with usage of the island dating as far back as 1864. Prisoners from Rikers Island would perform work duty there burying the indigents and unclaimed bodies. That Island has an abundance of history that I will continue to educate myself about. But it’s the origin for the indigents that has my attention.
That’s why it is heavy. It is new to me and it is sorrowful.
As I have read and been writing this I can see more than ever why it is so important to fact check. This photo was hard to research and learn the truth.
The photo brought about thoughts that all Covid19 death overflow was being sent to Hart Island to house until when and if they are claimed. ( without fact checking )
There is some truth and some false to that thought from the photograph, once you understand Hart Island, you can understand the photo.
The headline was misleading to grab one’s attention. As much of media headlines can be. I am glad I followed up to discover what was indeed fact over fiction and the vice versa.
The photo was heart wrenching to say the least. Leading me on a reading and writing scavenger hunt that I will likely not soon forget, if at all.
No one wakes up wondering where are the homeless buried? Honestly if you ask 10 people, maybe 1 person can answer you correctly. Did you know? I absolutely had no clue. My husband had no clue either. None of the family members I asked knew.
Depending on where you live, you may be closer than you think to a “Potter’s field.” (Biblical origin) Definition being, place for burial of unknown, unclaimed or indigent people. Google makes it simple to discover the locations closer to you than you might think.
Columbia, Mo., Grand Junction, Co., Florence, Ks.
Hart Island. 1 mile long in Northeastern Bronx, New York City. An island used specifically to date to lay the alone and unclaimed.
Melinda Hunt and The Hart Island project are working diligently to fight for the rights of those laid to rest amongst Hart Island and advocating for the long due respect they deserve.
The Covid19 has increased the burials and now it buries in a day what it use to only see in a week.
I’ll say it again, Hart Island. It is an Island used specifically to lay the alone and unclaimed to rest.” Let that sink in as you roam recklessly and carelessly in large groups among your cities, just because it hasn’t hit home to you. Burials in one day that is normally done in a week or more.
I can’t begin to describe the circling of emotions this article brought upon my household. I shared with my husband, and we discussed our thoughts among the two of us.
We both remain in a stage of dismantled realism. There is so much grief from the Covid19 battle the world is fighting; however a lot of us are fortunate and only grieving material experiences and changes vs loss of a loved one.
I believe as a country we are all likely in different stages of grief with the countless lives we continue to lose and I believe that to be human nature to be saddened, angry and or in denial by such an experience as this virus has brought upon all of us.
It has shown me even more of where my priorities are and need to be overhauled.
I am hopeful as this evolves it will keep us humbled in areas we took for granted and maybe under appreciated as we do leave our cages again.
Those on the front lines every second of every day and not one guarantee of anything as they start each life saving shift. To those feeling the risk is the same strolling around at Walmart when you shop, you may be right in the moment you are there but these nurses and doctors, clerks, fire and law men and women are on a non stop shift of potential exposure normally and even more now to this new bug. I hope you find time to appreciate them instead of comparing yourself to them and deeming yourself just as essential.

Many of us are without our families TODAY, (temporarily)as so many are. We were asked to not gather in groups in order to help slow the curve. Not hugging, not gathering for dinner or meeting for social events. Such a small cost. I can live with that now. I can clearly accept this as a much easier rule to follow after seeing that photo this morning and researching “ Hart Island.”
I feel somewhat selfish for feeling so blessed today, but are we not suppose to hold onto gratitude in dark places?
I’ve only been temporarily unemployed while others can’t hold the hand of a sick loved one?
We can facetime and video chat with our family, friends and loved ones.
Some people have no family.
If I feel bad for anything it is that I forgot to stop and look at everything I have to be grateful for. Instead I chose to focus on what I felt was being taken from me.

Our household is 2 adults and two cats.
As far as we know neither one of us have been in contact with the Covid19. We are breathing with no complications. We are not coughing or feeling ill. No out of the norm fever.
We have momentarily lost one income. That’s it. I repeat “That is it.” It was scary as our lifestyle was created around having both of them.
I have to admit that felt like such a BIG problem as this virus took it’s hold. There was as much or more talk of economics and job loss. It felt like the BIGGER problem because I hadn’t been personally affected in loss of life of a loved one due to the virus. I cried over finances while other people were crying and wanting to be with loved ones in ICU all over the country.
I panicked before feeling blessed.
I overthought everything financial and not one time did I look at what mattered most as my job was temporarily down. It hadn’t touched my friends or family. Everyone is still safe at home and not sick.
It’s been hard to awaken to the truth I have today.
We are still in our home, on our couch watching our television. We have food, heat and our essential needs are met. All my loved ones, friends and family alike are only a phone call away.
I can’t help think after seeing that picture today and doing my own research about Harts Island in the Bronx of New York, that photo was there to make me think.
To stab me in the chest with some gratitude.
To dig deeper into myself and the reality that surrounds us.
I see where I, myself, let selfishness and greed take up space in my bones. Where courage usually carries me.
That happens out of fear, fairly certain most of us are familiar with that term. Especially now as it runs rampant amongst the world in it’s entirety through the Covid19 pandemic. Fear spreading quicker than the virus itself seems to depending upon your sources.

As I sit here today in these thoughts and heavy feelings I am looking around at everything I do have. It is not hard to see it. To feel it. To appreciate it. Typical me though, I had to let it hit me and over think all of the unknown.
I know for a fact I have been lost in Covid19 fear this past month.
Today, right now in this moment though, I see and feel what matters most over everything else.
It’s the people. It is you, it is me and it is them. My income earning job is on hold but my job now is even more critical in order to go back and do what I love to do. In order to see my family together in the same rooms. My role now, my current job title is that of a protector. It is to keep you and myself safe and as healthy as possible during the stay at home order. It is unfortunate, yes. But after seeing that article that circulated social media, ( which by the way contained more fact than fiction ) it is not the money that matters most today. I’ve known that all along.
Fear will steal your truth quick. Just know that It is important to balance the healthy fear that keeps you from touching the stove and the unhealthy fear that says the more blisters the better.
My fear finally feels balanced again. I also know what it is I am afraid of losing the most.
It’s the people. My people. Your people.
I don’t want to have to live without mine and don’t want you to have to live without yours.
My family, my friends and my clients.
The stay at home order is purposeful.
They are protecting me as I am protecting them. I see it coming to an end and like birds we will fly again.
The most important part of my life is something no amount of money can buy.
How could I lose that truth so quickly?
I remember from personal experience, how scary it is to not know how or when you will eat your next meal, or where you will be to lay down at night or worrying if you will ever see your children again. I remember not knowing how I would pay my rent, car payment or utilities.
I get it. I understand how that fear of financial insecurity can show up as the most important thought. It’s frightening. You work so hard for so long and it disappears into the unknown. Naturally that is going to be frightening. It has consumed me too. I am ready to take a temporary job for who knows how long before I can go back to my absolute favorite job.

What truthfully scared me the most in the beginning ( when it was announced the first child’s life was lost to Covid19) before my work even stopped, hit me again today with that photograph. My worst fear is not my finances.
It is people dying. It’s losing a loved one.
It’s my honest to god truth and that anxiety is in my soul. I have had to battle that on a daily bases for the majority of my life with or without media coverage.

The loss of life.
The loss of mass lives.
Devastating doesn’t begin to describe the beginning of 2020 for all of us. Just like that, the world stopped turning as a nation. We are facing what will be one day discussed in our classrooms throughout the world.
I hope our future generations get to read that we as a Country are one to be proud of. That we worked together and did what was right and not because our freedom stolen but because it was the safest and the most right thing to do.
That we worked together to contain the Corona Virus and our casualty number didn’t grow near as bad as predicted because we were smart & unselfish. That’s what they have asked of us. Together we worked to slow the curve.
We are all story tellers now, and not one of us will be able to say this hasn’t touched our life in some way.
We ALL now share a common bond.
The story behind Hart Island woke me up today.
The story we are all writing by our lives, actions and behaviors during the Covid19 outbreak will whisper in our ear every day.
These stories will be left behind for generations and generations after that.
The story today presents some of us with unfamiliar opportunity.
For some idle hands are dangerous, we now dig deep to keep them busy.
For some we never rest, we are now resting.
For some we have never NOT earned an income, we now have no income and scurry to find some and figure it out.
For some we never lost a love one, we have now buried a family member, loved one or friend.
For some we never knew the vital role our nurses and doctors played in our communities, we now appreciate them more than ever.
For some we never took an ambulance ride or needed a paramedic, we now know without them we are left behind.
For some we under appreciated the role our police officer’s play in protecting the citizens of our cities, we now anxiously sit hoping and praying they are going to be there in time of an emergency.
For some we took our groceries for granted. Never truly seeing the hard work that goes into keeping the stores stocked or the on going long hauls made by truck drivers to deliver our essential needs.
For some, we saw a farmer as a man in a pair of coveralls holding a pitch fork with a cow and a couple of chickens. We now see without the farmer we have nothing essential.
Let’s face it, not many of us have what it takes to survive off of the land alone.
Teach a man to fish and he will never go hungry right? It says nothing about cleaning and cooking said fish. I would struggle and I would not like it. So I hope I never under-appreciate or take for granted those that serve us as we shop for groceries.

I always seem to find some deep meaning in just about everything.
Today it just happened to come from, “One photo“ and it reminded me that I need to work diligently to stay on top of my faith.
Without faith, I am fearful.
Without faith my spirit is indigent; wandering lost and alone.

I myself would like to lay down a bed of roses over Hart Island.

The Hart Island Project.

Excuse Us Officer but it’s Our Wedding Day

Inspired by a true event, and a few thoughts.

I can’t help but giggle as I title this.

Rebels with a cause.

Cause: Shelly’s wedding.

Instructions: Drive flowers for reception to the bride by noon.

Where: Arkansas

Nervous yet?

No worries. We made it.

We even got to take a nap. Well, sort of.

Sweet dreams

Okay, it was not actually OUR wedding day. That belongs to our beautiful friend; however, we did have a plan if they tried to ticket us for jaywalking in Eureka Springs.

We love this bride.
Photo credits to KG photography

I plan to update this entry with a photo of the beautiful bride and her groom once photos are released and approved. When I say she was stunning and it was the funnest wedding I’ve ever attended, I mean it. From her friends to her family, her special day was definitely one for the books. Inspiring to say the least.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

I highly suggest you read up on this town’s history. Visit it so you can appreciate all it’s beauty. There is a lot to this small dot on the map. See link below.

https://www.eurekasprings.com/historical/eurekavictorian.html

I think Kandra and I must have worn our rebel britches. We met some adversity, a weird dog ( an inside funny ) and according to one of the locals, LAWS. We most definitely are not in Kansas anymore Toto. ( Missouri, not Kansas, but you get the gist )

Even the dogs are weird.
Photo credit to Gif shared by Kandra Gannaway

Okay. No biggie. Right. Wear a mask. We get it. We can read. We have restrictions in our town too. We are respectful of others, and walking in our own bubbles, side by side each other, and minding our own business.

We toted around our masks; either dangling from our ear, over our nose and mouth, or in our hand. Up and on as needed. Armed with our face coverings and ready if we have to stand too close to someone or when we enter an establishment for service, NOT for conviction. That’s where she comes in.

“ HER.” The one and only.

If HER ever meant her before , it will probably always mean HER to us now. I remember wanting to interrupt this woman. “ Excuse me ma’m, but do you mind if I video your behavior and the attacking of us right now so I can show my children how NOT to behave?” ( didn’t say it but sure wanted to, as we gave her our best smiles, uh huh’s and okays. Which might I add were through clenched jaws that were hidden under our masks.

She must have been the local guard dog is all I could think.

She tried to tear us apart limb by limb for not knowing the Mask LAW of this little land we were visiting, and how only a DUMB business will let you in without one.

Okay lady, we get it. Now go tend to your own knitting (thought not spoken), and thank you for sharing.

We made sure we kept our distance from her. Masks on and showed total respect.

There’s a time I would have gave her a nice, big fat BLESS YOUR HEART, but I couldn’t find it fast enough.

The conversation lasted for what felt like an eternity, as we waited outside to be taken to our table for lunch. Finally, as if someone dropped a house on her, she vanished. Hale to Dorothy the wicked witch is dead. ( Not really, we were just escorted inside, but a perfect time in this entry to give a shout out to The Wizard of Oz.)

According to our new HER, if you do not have your mask on 24/7, then you are an idiot and must not be from here, she informs us.

No ma’m we are not.” we inform her right back. ( Proud to be here from Joplin, Missouri, so don’t worry as for we’re ONLY visiting. ) Don’t think that thought didn’t almost come out of my mouth as well, because at that point I was feeling HANGRY enough to say it.

Photo credits to LRS

Sweet Eureka. Home to many beautiful sceneries and some very interesting history, art, artist’s, shops, and for this particular post, street signs. Or was it a crosswalk sign? A mix of both? Maybe it was just a piece of art? No clue honestly. It was oddly placed at the bottom of some stairs that allowed the walk to be shortened.

I have to admit it was a lot of fun, and for a brief moment I felt as if we were a part of a movement. Something cool like free the ta-ta’s or something. All we did was ignore a street sign, but it felt so good to be persevering.

I did have worse case scenario images flashing through my mind, and what could possibly happen as we ended our pre-wedding guest venture.

It was all down hill from the top of our shopping spree. (literally) One more store, we both agreed, and then it was off to the Dollar General. ( you can read more about that in “Confessions from a Hysterectomy. I’m not sure if anyone has written that yet, but they should. We got a good giggle out of it, which made it worth the $5.95.

We eyed the last shop and of-course the quickest route to get to it as well.

Folks let me tell you, at a certain point in life, your body just starts doing things different when the humidity is at 99.9%, and we were ready for some air conditioning. Let’s face it. There’s sweaty sexy and then there’s sweaty EW and we had reached sweaty EEEEEW.

Then came the sign. “ CROSSING PROHIBITED “

I’m saddened that I did not get that in a photo. You can bet I will go out of my way to do so the next time I am there, and update this entry.

We did it though.

We crossed.

We rebelled.

I could just see it unfold. Kandra’s magic eyes. Batting her beautiful lashes at an officer and softly saying, “Oh sweet Sir, did we do something wrong?”

“Can’t you read the sign?” he points.

~ CROSSING PROHIBITED~

Excuse me officer, “Are you some kind of one man Tesla band?”

Ladies, you are under arrest.

But Sir, it’s OUR wedding day. We were just in a hurry to “ SPREAD THE LOVE ” ~

Photo credit goes to Kandra’s granddaughter. “Spread the Love, Nana”

Okay. Not our wedding day, but it worked.

Charges dropped.

Case dismissed.

Wait. Hold on. Before we go officer, “ Do you mind if we redo those mugshots?” we ask, as we take the tops off our lipgloss.

Photo credit to Sephora.
Referred by Kandra Gannaway.

With all that is going on today, I hope you were able to read this with humor and that it tickles your funny bone as much as it did mine as I wrote it.

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

Excuse me officer

A New Constellation

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

Photo credit to Pinterest

Ever doubt destiny? I did. Many times.

Not suppose to be somewhere only to find out that indeed you were exactly where you were supposed to be. 

As if you were strategically placed there by God? Maybe? 

To learn something new. To feel something new. To further discover your best self. 

The prompt to write about an established group welcoming a new face was an instant decision for me. Me. I’m the new face. Them, they are the established welcoming group.

It’s a chapter in my book that I had started writing about in the summer of 2018. 

I was living a good life with a wonderful job and circle of friends who were already so life changing for me. To leave was a lot to swallow. I still can’t speak highly enough of the love I have for them and the love I was shown by them and the wings they helped me grow.

Needless to say, I met my happy ever after. We commuted for several months but eventually made a decision to have just one home. It made the most sense I uproot. I prayed the new soil that was going to surround me would be welcoming and provide the nutrients I needed to continue growing. Established 42 year old single female in big city Tulsa. Getting ready to have her roots dug up and replanted in a small town across the state line. Joplin, Missouri. New home, new everything. 

Moving wasn’t the scariest part. That’s in my dna. Finding an authentic fit. That’s the tricky part. Actually tricky is a wimpy word for that anxiety. Frightening is more accurate. 

Nervous and excited at the same time. 

Like the first day of a new school. 

This move was nothing like I had experienced. 

All I had to do was connect the dots.  

Salon life. 

What’s one thing you have always heard about women in a salon? Exactly, Drama. Oddly enough making my decision to join this group of women was easy. I was told how opposite of a soap opera salon this work family was. 

They were established in 2001 and the owner’s have been best friends forever. The turn over amongst them almost Nil. 

By way of fate ( literally) I found myself home and surrounded by angels. Each one wearing a different halo with wings made of many colors. ( no pun intended )

Photo credit to C&K salons facebook page.

Welcoming, inviting, beautiful, energetic, faithful, compassionate, supportive, kind, warm, silly and fun. Just a few colors that make them all beautiful. 

I will speak of them using their initials to give you a window to my new world.

C&K
Star quality.
Wonder Woman wouldn’t stand a chance.
Photo credits to C & K’s Facebook page.

CL ~ The boss, Mom, friend, plant whisperer, lover of the outdoors, thinker, planner, do-er. Listener, full of surprises, adventurer, observant, fun, energizer bunny, and beautiful.

KA ~ Also the boss, Mom, friend, saving grace, feels her soul surface and isn’t afraid to show it. Listener, loves Jesus and her family too. Her grandchildren make her heart full of solid gold. To know her is to love her.

KG ~ Where do I start here and keep my prompt of 3000 words or less? My salon sidekick. So many beautiful descriptions can be inserted here so will do my best to keep it simple. Mom, Nana, gentle, spiritual, angelic, brave, bold, kind, direct, compassionate and appreciative, teacher, wise, and a forever friend. I could go on and on. My own personal Jesus. ( not to be taken offensively, I just love the love she is. )

NP~ I can’t help but take my imagination wild with this little hot firecracker. Tiny and tough, mixed with the perfect amount of beauty and sensitivity that writes love all through the air when you speak to her. A total doll with a rock star spirit. So much fun to talk to and learn from as well. She paints nails but to me she paints the world into such a pretty place.

Love her and our twinkie dinking days.
Photo credits to Lynn Rilean Smith

Gosh almost halfway through this list and I am running out of word count. I have to try to limit the rest. Let me see what I can do here with a few words and still create an idea of the other women in the group.

SP ~ I’d love to share one of my first experiences with her in the lash room because it is a belly laugh. I can’t do that because what happens in the lash room stays in the lash room. I knew right then though that I would never doubt I belonged here. She’s on her way to the chapel this week and she’s going to get married. Beautiful, blessed and a blessing to others is probably the best way to describe this bride to be, mother, friend and co-worker.

Heading to the chapel and she’s going to get married. Photo credits to C&K fb page
Namaste’ ~ my spirit recognizes your spirit.
Now let me eat my damn salad.
Photo credits to Lynn Rilean Smith

LC ~ been waiting to get here to this cool cat and kitten. My Joe exotic, my tiger friend and lover of snakes. Kidding. She hates snakes. I can’t type this without laughing out loud. This girl said whoop there it is. That’s just her and how she rolls. We are cut from the same cloth. She couldn’t have been more right saying that to me. So many thing’s in common in the mom world. I have this mental image of her at woodstock. Round sun glasses, tight fitting bell bottoms, tube top, tattoos, and a whole lot of free to be me. I would sit right next to her and weave and wave my peace signs around like finger confetti, as we sat wrapped up in the festival evolution of a lifetime.

I have not got to spend much time with the rest of our group but I can tell you a few things that make them all special to me.

AS ~ kind, direct, forward, friend, authentic, helpful, wise, I feel very connected to her by an invisible thread.

BE ~ she won’t be surprised when I say this. She is bossy. Literally. She was in charge in her cosmetology career as The Boss lady. She came in after I was established and she made change look easy. We have since got to watch her become a mother for the first time and it has most definitely been a beautiful journey to watch unfold.

JR ~ The one I know the least about because she rarely has time to eat lunch. Lover of shoes, we all know this, as she tracks her packages. She pointed me to one of my all time favorite establishments that I now frequent for nutritional teas. Well disciplined in her ability to eat healthy and keep track of her nutrients. One thing that is very easy to read is the love she has for her grandson. There is something about him that make her eyes sparkle. I would not be able to keep up with her in a foot race. Busy, Busy.

JH ~ The muscle mover. Have an ache? She will tell you she is no doctor. But I will tell you she is more like magic. She is a good conversationalist and I have enjoyed many laughs with this lady. I find myself thinking of her often and stories she has shared with me about her and her family. Sometimes I think she missed her calling because she is such a hoot and never fails to make me smile.

The magic muscles.
Photo credits to C & K salons facebook page.

I did it. I met my word count with little difficulty. Speaking of these angels was easier than I predicted it would be. The words just flowed. I don’t have photos of everyone yet as we haven’t been able to gather as often with 2020’s madness. I look forward to being able to come back soon and update this and have a photo of everyone. Until then I will let you use your imagination and put a face to these initials.

I close with this and hope to leave you with a smile and a message of hope.

Look up. Keep your eyes on the sky.

I don’t know everything. No one does. What I do know is that these women mean everything to me. There is a set of stars in the sky and if you look up and connect them you will see a new constellation.

C & K ~ has been written in the stars.

2018 Holly Jolly Christmas party at Handmade Home. Photo credits to C & K salons Facebook.

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

A New Constellation

Mama

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

Photo credits to Mama

That little voice inside your head

Taunting you for days on end

You’re tired, scared and it all aches

Pain echos as your heart breaks

You’re quiet and your minds a mess

Let me say I know that best

It hurts to ( to know ) the fear

To feel so scared

Inside your safe

We’re all mad here

You tried to say you have no fear

Drunk and drugs

All disappears

You, myself and everyone

Someone’s daughter

Someone’s son

Believe me when I say that you are loved

Who do you tell your story to

The one that keeps you sad and blue

~You trust no one

so tellings hard to do

You will drop some things ya see

first things first

drop to your knees

~ Drop down and cry

Pray

Set me free

Should have done it differently

Like you I did it

Had to be

Took the turn to worse you see

Please now just go

Just leave

Pride eating at the wounded soul

Ego swallows conscience whole

Tortured self takes its toll

Bones rest on a bench tonight

Tell my mom I’ll be alright

The stars light up the sky

I search for end in sight

Right now my path came to this stone

Mama,

One day I may come back home.

Until or when

I love you heart and soul,

Love, your oldest son

Photo credit to Mama inside Gypsy Coffee house downtown Tulsa, Ok.

Faith is where your fear can rest

Hope ~ knows you are loved and blessed

You’ve come this far so please don’t quit

Please don’t give up on you

You, myself, and everyone

Someone’s daughter

Someone’s son

Believe me when I say that you are loved

You may not see it now

Faith, hope, when, how

One day you can look back

One day you will look back

Look back

Look back and be like wow

You made it through that yesterday

Tomorrow’s still a day away

Live in the moment

Right here and now

Be right there

Be still and see

You can get up

Come back to me

Mom I’ll be there

Wait on me

I’ll be home

I’m going to ask her to marry me

Photo credits to Mama on eve of proposal
November 16th 2018

You, myself and everyone

Someone’s daughter

Someone’s son

Believe me when I say that you are loved

You, myself and everyone

Someone’s daughter

Someone’s son

Believe me when I say that you are loved

You, myself and everyone

Someone’s daughter

Someone’s son

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

Little Us

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

A Father and his Daughters.

If I could only talk to little me and talk to my best friend, little her.

I would tell her that her dad knows Karate and he can kick an SOB.

I’d tell her she knows Karate and to kick an SOB too.

I’d tell her not to wait to tell her parents no matter how distracted everyone was because her being safe mattered, no matter how afraid she was.

I would tell her those men have no business being so nice to her. I would tell those men that too.

I would tell her she is beautiful in pig tails and overly processed orange permed hair.

I’d tell her it’s okay if she catches bugs and gets dirt on her dress because dirt washes and bugs are cool.

I would tell her that shy and quiet is beautiful.

I would tell her the thrift store really is cool.

I would tell her she isn’t ready to be grown up.

I would tell her to stay a kid and ask for another doll for Christmas.

I would tell her there is more to life than someone else’s dreams.

I would tell her if you don’t say something now you are going to be so angry that it will destroy everything good that comes along later.

I would tell her not to beat herself up.

I would tell her NO means NO and that NOBODY has permission to take that away.

I would tell her that one day she is going to be a parent and no matter what happens she will need to always be a parent first and pay attention.

I’ll tell her to have thick skin but it’s okay to wear her heart on her sleeve.

I would tell her nothing good is going to be easy but that nothing easy will be as appreciated.

I’ll tell her evil does exist and if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

I’ll tell her she will fall down but that everyone does that.

I’ll tell her while she’s down to take a few deep breaths and get back up.

I’ll tell her she’s okay.

Not all assaults are preventable and I completely understand that.

I’ll tell her she is going to get MAD DOG mean but she will snap out of it.

I’ll tell her “ Stairway to Heaven and Every Rose has it’s Thorn, ” will always be her favorite songs

I’ll end this writing prompt today with this.

Dear Little Me,

One day you will question everything again. You will ask why and you will wonder a lot.

The day will come.

You will be sitting there and it will dawn on you. You made it here today. It really is okay. It all eventually worked out.

You will replace your shame with forgiveness.

Don’t get too comfortable on your laurels that you stop creating new experiences.

You’ll help other women and children that may feel scared, insecure, tattered, to blame and/or broken.

I will respect and encourage every step you take to get there.

I’ll be there waiting on you.

I love you.

Love always,

Little You

The Crying Barn

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

Barn photo outside of Boulder City, MO.

Photo Credits to Lynn Rilean Smith

Do you see what I see?

The beauty and bones of this barn.

The black cow ornaments decorating the background.

The clouds whispering in the sky.

A storm is coming.

My imagination dances all over this photograph.

The loft door is exhausted.

Shelter was sought.

Love was made.

Stories were told.

Babies were born.

Food was kept.

Memoirs were written.

Whiskey was hidden.

Healing happened.

Children listened.

Hide and seek played.

Tobacco smoked.

Preacher’s spoke.

Beds were made of straw.

Families prayed.

Mama’s wept.

Secrets.

Silence.

Tear stained hay.

2020, Smith, Lynn Rilean

THE CRYING BARN

YOU CAN BE LOUD HERE

2020 Smith, Lynn R.

You can be loud here.

Don’t blink. 

It will happen that quickly. 

Everything will make the most sense not making any sense at all. 

You will be going about your routine, 

and suddenly nonsense doesn’t really matter. 

No nonsense? 

Impossible.

May there still be good nonsense. 

You. 

You are good nonsense. 

Silly and quirky.

Calming.

An essential part of being you. 

Hear this. 

Memorize it.

Hold onto it as if all happiness in life depends on it. 

It does. 

Those folks that sing in your head saying you’re too much this and too much that.

Those are NOT, I repeat, those are NOT your folks. 

People who don’t love your enthusiasm and authenticity, 

Shhhhhhhhhhhh.

No room for that here. 

Hit mute. 

Pray.

Meditate.

Zen them away. 

But always show up. 

Never stop showing up. 

Don’t let them silence your soul. 

We all have bones. 

That’s the easy part. 

Be nice. 

For some that’s not so easy. 

Walking, talking, cocky insecurity. 

Loud. 

Loud. 

Loud like a Tuba. 

Drowning you out. 

Let them down easy.

Go before I drop a house on you? 

Easy like that? 

Okay, maybe not that easy.

Sure. 

Respect.

I get it. 

You can be respectful. 

You both enter. 

If one must leave,

let it be them.

Damn it. 

Quit walking away. 

Some of the best breakthroughs 

take a breakdown. 

It’s okay. 

Today YOU stay. 

Let them go. 

Sayonara.

Adios.

Chao.

Be true to you.

Hug them if you feel like it. 

Wish a kind farewell. 

But. 

But you stay put.

Embrace the seconds that surround you. 

You’re aware.

You were born to be this you

Playing dress-up.

People pretending this is make believe. 

Like they have endless chances. 

You know this. 

You made it. 

Pursue your purpose.

Your truth.

One shot. 

Love a fairy tale. 

Be a true story. 

Alive. 

You

Live your life. 

Live your life fully.

You can’t save pretenders.

No one can. 

Radiate.

Radiate your realness.

Glow your aura. 

It lights the dark for the right people. 

Dance to all things with love.

It’s okay.

You don’t have to whisper anymore.

We are all loud here. 

The ones that matter most,

will never mind. 

They will love you. 

The you-est YOU, 

the one and only,

you-est YOU. 

Photo creds Kaitlynn Paige Trundle

Be.

Stay.

Do.

Love. 

True. 

Story.

You.

2020 Smith, Lynn R.

You can be loud here. 

Photo credits go to my sons beautiful wife.

 https://www.facebook.com/Kaitlynn.Trundle This girl has brought my world so much sunshine when she married one of my sonshine’s. I plan to share more about my family during this journey. My son and daughter-in- law both have heart warming stories and I know each one of them can share and make a difference to someone who can relate. Even if you can’t it will touch your hearts.

CRY LIKE I CRIED

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

CRY LIKE I CRIED

My daughter passed 29 years’ ago, at the age of 6 weeks. I tortured myself trying to move through those emotions. I have just recently discovered the pain of losing her is never going away. It is always in the back of my mind. Somedays it is brought to the front by a baby being born or a child’s cry and several other little things most people bypass. When that happens now, I can let it be there without beating myself up. Writing helps keep me grounded and allows me to express my emotions. 29 years’ sounds like a long time ago, but in the mind of a parent, 29 years’ ago is every morning.

Woke up today

Pulled your photo

from the drawer

Photo credit to Kaitlynn Paige Trundle via PicsArt

I understand now

life and loss

a lot more

No more in vain

will I let you be

Baby of mine

life left in me

Do they see what I see

Have they cried

like I cried

Have they hurt

like I hurt

Have they tried

like I tried

When they look in the mirror

What do they see

When I look

it’s all

looking back

at me.

Do you see

what I see

Cry like I cry

Hurt like I’ve hurt

Try like I try

When you step

do you step

with the same heavy weight

Carry it all

Every step that you take

Do you see what I see

Cry like I cried

Hurt like I hurt

Try like I tried

Did you drink like I did

Each bottle to hide

Push it away

And lie like I lied

Did you ever feel lost

in the big world outside

Wash it away

with a turn of a tide

Were you afraid

sad and scared

as I was

Did you try to drown

yourself in that buzz

Just like me

did you sit

Asking why

God why

Like me

were you lost

No goodbye

No goodbye

Do you see what I see

Cry like I cry

Hurt like I hurt

Try like I try

If you know what I mean

the pain

the sorrow

My faith I will share

My faith you can borrow

I’ll hold your hand

I’ll be there

and love you

I know the walk

in the dark you go through

Sometimes it hurts

to move through the pain

The sun will shine

You can dance in the rain

Until that day comes

I’ll be by your side

Friends til the end

Together we rise.

Do you see what I see

Cry like I’ve cried.

Hurt like I hurt

Try like I’ve tried.

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

Photo credit Lynn Rilean Smith

I see her in the clouds.

Broken Barbies

Photo credits to Varage sale

If you are trying to decide if this is a blog for you, I’ll tell you that it is not filled with romantic flights around the world. No trips to paris, or snorkeling in the Cayman Islands.

I would have to have a passport for that. Right now I am still paying on back child support and that fact disqualifies me for a passport until that balance falls below $2000.00. Close but still a few cents away.

The consequences from emotional wreckage linger years later, and I didn’t find that out until I was planning a romantic honeymoon with my now husband.

Sorry honey we can’t leave the country.

Death, SIDS, divorce, alcoholism, addiction, mental health, jail, abuse, relationships, God, sobriety, court rooms, recovery, overcoming, friendship, forgiveness, love, laughter and peace.

Those are some topics I plan to share and talk about in my blog, and within a book or two.

Post it note 📝 ~ STUMBLE AND LET YOUR TRUTH DO THE WALKING ~ LRS

Within all the words I put onto these pages, I hope you find a message, or something resonates within you that you can apply to your life.

Chances are you are reading this because you’ve googled story’s about recovery, or you asked for reference to a good self help book with similarities to you or someone you love.

I know this much, everyone likes a good come back story; but for that to exist, and for you to appreciate it, you have to know the guts of it all.

No matter how deep you’re in it, you deserve peace of mind.

This is for those of you that can’t see your way out and are afraid of telling your truth. Don’t get me wrong it’s okay not to; but after all these years I would die in vain if I kept my faith and my story to myself.

Crystal clear and sparkling like a diamond on the outside; but full of bitterness, rage and sorrow in my soul.

This is written to offer you hope. Hope that if you are having or have had some difficulties throughout your life then just maybe you will be enlightened and find a bit of peace by something I have chosen to share from my personal journey.

It’s a fact that we all experience some sort of turbulence and it can feel like it’s never going to quit bouncing us around.

We get lost, and feel alone. We see no end in sight. Pain that aches as the sun rises and sets.

I plan to give the not so pretty details in my book. I’ll explain one of my biggest tragedies because I want you to understand I know what it’s like to live inside of a tragic experience.

Reliving it and seeing it every time you close your eyes.

PTSD diagnosis mixed with an ‘ism’ or even two.

Often both go hand in hand.

It’s a mental battlefield and one we tend to minimize.

For myself anyhow, I generally saw your tragedy as worse than mine no matter what it was so that no eyes were able to stay on my pain and I didn’t have to feel me at all.

It may have been gorier or graphic, on a 1 to 10 scale; but it was a tragedy none the less. I would tell you about mine, and that it happened; but I’d also tell you I had overcame it. Then we wouldn’t have to talk about it anymore. I could stuff it back down in its hell hole. I was a great stuffer. I would beat myself up so bad if I caught myself crying over it years later. Besides you don’t know how to ask me questions about it. I get it.

I read something once recently about Toxic Positive. That resonates with me. I’m so guilty of being toxic positive. However; it happens. Somedays it has to. I’ll explain more about that in another post or you can google it now. It’s a tricky one. One I truly believe can keep you teetering and white knuckling your way through life.

I found myself with no positivity. No light. No Faith. A darkness that led me to a new teacher.

I found her. A counselor who not only listened to me; but held my hand as our sessions ran longer than scheduled. I said to her words I thought all those years but that I would never let come out of my mouth. She took me inside and helped me unload the world from my shoulders.

You will read about it one day in a book I am writing.

My Truth.

She Died and Went to Heaven. I Lived and Went to Hell. By Lynn Rilean Smith.

I had to say the words out loud to my therapist. 29 years later. She had a way to get those words from my mind, body and soul, to a very trembling voice.

I had to say them, in order to have a breakthrough, and reach a better understanding that nothing would make that experience go away, and that it was never going to make sense. Grasping that was hard.

I had to gently lay it to rest to be able to continue to build a more peaceful me ( mother me, wife me, friend and sister me ); but first I had to look at it in a way that I was always trying to bury.

That counselor took my entire life, in less than a year, and proved to me; when the student is ready the teacher will show up. That saying use to annoy me. Now I’m stuck to it like glue.

She was there to show me I could learn to face life without losing myself in the shuffling replay.

I had to do the things she suggested in order to make progress though, and that felt, simply put, yukky.

I’m telling you my story in hopes you can one day share yours. I hope you will open yourself to trust in someone again and even more so trust in you again and possibly therapy.

The Zac Williams song sings loudly in my head as I type this. Fear is a liar.

I hope you can feel some sort of connection to someone else when your world feels empty, and a consequence catches up to you.

I believe by sharing our stories we are offering support for others that may be struggling, and in need of some understanding and love.

Not coming to judge, criticize or kick us when we feel down.

This is me giving you a hug, offering you encouragement and telling you that you are not alone.

It’s okay to break, and still be strong, beautiful and brave.

So much truth in that.

Post it note 📝 ~ A box of beaten down, battered and broken barbie dolls are being rebuilt, cleaned up and made wiser.

There you have it folks.

That is how you make a militia.

Photo credits to Mattel