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…

A New Constellation

Remember that time when…..

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

You do remember right?

The day they sat us down to tell us mommy and daddy couldn’t get along?

That it would all be okay and everyone will eventually move on.

The day the bags were packed and thrown into the trunk of a car.

Don’t cry sweetie.

Your daddy won’t be far.

Remember when mommy played music really loud so you couldn’t hear her cry?

I knew she was extremely sad but I wouldn’t have understood why.

Today when I look back, I’m glad I didn’t know.

I’m glad my brain pretended we were only in a show.

It will be okay tomorrow when the next episode comes on.

We will be back in our beds at home as the sunset turns to dawn.

The same episode aired over and over and over again.

I wrote this within 5 minutes of being reminded of something. How easy we can forget. I don’t know if it is an age thing and years just erased that part of my memory or if I blocked it out.

Regardless of the reason I can write these feelings so easily. The hardest part of my life was reaching a place I could forgive myself for not understanding something I wasn’t even supposed to know.

Life is most definitely going to knock the breath out of you more than once. If you’re lucky someone will be there to walk beside you helping each episode make sense.

I’ll tell you this last bit of advice, no one knows exactly how you feel. It’s not possible. I have found that I get answers I may be seeking from those whom have been strangers to me most of my life.

I look out at the sky with a crooked grin and inquisitive eyes.

As long as I can remember what it’s like to be the weeping child with a broken heart I will always be able to offer you the 10 best bits of advice I’ve ever been given. #1 is the most important.

1. Child, it is not your fault.

2. It will always bring a feeling of sadness.

3. You are allowed to take as long as you need to understand something.

4. You can’t know what you don’t know.

5. Surround yourself with positive people.

6. You only need one person to make a difference.

7. The world will take care of itself.

8. You may grow to be codependent like I did, but you will find your backbone when you need it most.

9. Anything can change nothing. Anything can change everything.

10. You can change the world but you don’t have to. If you can change the world for just one person you’ve done more than most do in a lifetime.

Without the ability to reason with myself I’m a mere puppet to my past, present and future.

I can’t expect to communicate with anyone on the same level that has not experienced life the same way as I have.

I can’t expect someone who has never lost a child to know what that feels like.

I can’t expect someone who’s never been caught in an ugly custody battle to understand what it feels like to endure that kind of misery.

I can’t tell you and expect you to understand, comprehend, feel or express to me anything that you haven’t lived.

Compassion ~ yes.

Understand ~ no.

At this point it is when we ourselves have to realize communicating clearly to someone who has no experience in something we’re talking about will not be of the same level of understanding as someone who does.

How guilty I believe we all are of expecting others to read our mind and understand exactly how we feel something.

The more I get to know myself the more I see me instead of who you wanted me to be.

The more I get to know you the more I get to learn about my character.

Am I kind? Am I patient? Am I full of sarcasm? Can you push my buttons easily? Am I really secure or consumed by insecurity. Can I truly listen to hear?

What areas of me don’t I like and am I willing to change?

That willingness to change is a doozy when our egos have protected us for so long.

Long story short~ don’t communicate with me and expect me to communicate back on your level because I know chances are you will never be able to communicate with me on mine. No matter how much research you do. No matter how many movies or true stories you read. No matter how different your bruises looked from mine. No matter how old you were when and if your parents called it quits. No matter who hurt who the most. No matter if you had 20 siblings or none. No matter the level of genius in your brain that mine is lacking. No matter the most expensive cheese or the commodity cheese.

I’ll tell you, I never knew what expensive cheese was until I was well into adulthood. I was never going to know what fancy expensive cheese meant until I’d had it.

Let’s do more learning about another’s language or level of comprehension before we speak to them in depth because often when the conversation’s over one is left feeling dominant and superior and the other exits feeling like the village idiot.

I personally relate more to the misfits. The misfits wear their heart on the outside and feel everything deeply.

I’m not sure but maybe the rest of the people just haven’t had to yet.

I had the best conversation with a 94 year old Veteran this week. What I did when I listened to him was learn more than I ever would have from a book. I learned about plants. It was relayed to me in a language I understood. He knew from experience how to share and express it to me in a way I connected with. He didn’t get upset with me when I didn’t understand the first time. He was patient and slowed it down a little. He saw how I was clueless about the care of my plants this winter because it was the first time I was going to experience it. Not one time did he get or appear irritated at my lack of understanding.

Do I believe we’re all equal? No.

Color, race, sex, whatever okay sure yeah.

I’m not talking about that.

A 5 year old will never know what it is to be 10 until they are 10. Just as a 20 year old will never be equal to a 30 year old or above.

Your intelligence and lack of experience over or under mine will always separate us. My anxiety will always be different than yours. My mind is my gift and yours is yours. What we do with those though is what determines our goodness.

I’ll never be better than you. I will have worked hard. I’ll never be wealthier than you but I will have worked hard. I’ll never be able to read as well as you but I will have learned my best. I’ll never score a touchdown like you but I will have ran my fastest. I don’t need a trophy for doing my best if you out ran me. Fair and square, you were the faster runner.

There’s equal and equality.

There’s better and there’s morals.

There’s ignorance in opinions.

There’s more opinions than there are ethics.

A whole lot of pride and better than someone else is sitting in a trust-fund while others struggle to depend on a broken government that allows even a millionaire to cut corners and receive food-stamps.

Please tell me how equal we all are and on what grounds you believe this?

I’ll tell you it may take me awhile to understand your response because I’ve no experience inside your mind. I will do my best.

I can not wrap my brain around all of us being equal. When we aren’t even all born the same color. Different colored eyes. We grey differently and we damn sure all learn differently.

To all be equal is to tell a man who fought in the war holding a limbless fallen soldier in his arms that his life and his risks are as equal and just the same as the man ( 20 years old) who never had to get dirt under his fingernails as he sits and eats his Doritos chips, playing video games with his brand new Adidas tennis shoes Aunt Jo Jo bought him.

Pay and equality. Pay and lazy. One chooses to sit at home spending until the money runs out and other’s choose to work hard to have barely enough. Some keep working even harder. We are not equal across the board. We do NOT deserve equal pay and benefits.

I think the only thing that should matter when someone looks at a wealthy mans taxes is the donations to charity. Look at the causes he stands for and supports. I think what you give away because you can and you want to is a good way to pick a tiger by the toe. Judge a good character.

I don’t believe if you earn a million dollars that should have to pay for my loaf of bread. I should be able to earn my own loaf of bread. There are cases where even mentally challenged individuals are able to work and earn spending money. They enjoy having earned money. There are other’s who are incapacitated and are unable to earn. That’s where the system can come in. Wealthy people are always in need of tax write offs. Maybe people could campaigns for donations to help fund the incapacitated. Regardless of that last bit; It is not the wealthier who should have to pay for my electric bill each month. I want an honest living with honest wages. If you raise minimum wage and not the middle class wages, you will lose more than you can fathom in small businesses. I will not be able to continue my career because most of my clients are middle class and once my products go up and my taxes increase they will not be able to afford to continue receiving my services therefore I will struggle and eventually have to find something else to recover my losses somehow. Can someone explain to me how that is fair? Can someone show me where that is wrong and not at all what will happen?

I work hard but I give harder. I strive to give more away and to eventually have less. I don’t plan on getting out of here alive so why do I need to carry so many thing’s around.

It’s my choice to keep little. It’s my choice to keep big. It’s my choice to buy expensive thing’s with money I’ve earned. It’s my choice to go to designer clothing store or to the consignment shop. The Goodwill has good sales. Just sayin.

What does close minded even mean? Why won’t someone with more of a closed mind not understand any of what I have written? Because it goes against whatever they believe. My hand is up. I’m guilty of being close minded. If you’ve never been then my hats off to you.

What I’ve written above leads me to wonder about so many different views over topics that make my mind spin.

Row vs. Wade for example. Republicans want to abolish abortion. Democrats don’t. I myself have laid on a gurney in an abortion clinic. I was 18. I had my reasons. ( not a birth control method ) I experienced thing’s during that time I never hope anyone has to experience. The emotions alone after something like that are haunting. But…….I disagree with taking away a woman’s right to choose. Should there be some restrictions? Yes. But abolished completely? No.

How is it that man can be in a position to create a plan for a woman and her right to carry a child or not? Technically that alone should change in my opinion. I could complicate this entire subject so I’ll quit for now. We all have our different views. But a man can’t even conceive a child. Therefore I’m not favoring the mans right to tell me after he’s assaulted me that he wants to keep the child. No. I’m not in favor of that. God or no God.

So many things this world has to offer. So many good and bad things. Some things are choices. Some are not. Always evolving. Life.

We’re not all equal. Thing’s that matter most, yes. Color, gender, sex, etc.

But on the same playgrounds? No. Can every single color play on the same slide? Absolutely. Do we deserve equal opportunities if we perform equally? Yes. Do we deserve the same if one is more brilliant and works harder than the other? Harder worker, more loyal and dedicated to a job? No. I assure you that you would not want me operating on your heart. That Dr. deserves much more pay than I do. I couldn’t even comprehend a medical text book at this point in my life.

In school I always wondered why my neighbor never had homework from the same class and why I cried trying to do mine. We were different.

I never knew how to raise my hand without crying and saying, “please help me” because I don’t understand something. We were different yet I had to know how to comprehend the same book as you did.

I never knew it was okay to be different. I never knew how to be the same. Funny thing is, now I enjoy being different and I enjoy working hard and asking questions.

As a young child I was always striving to be better because I never saw myself as good enough. I never want that same pressure on my grandchildren. I’ve already passed off my own insecurities to my children and they were left to dig out of them and become their own-selves. Hard to watch sometimes when you know that nothing you do can or will make their decision making through life any easier.

It wasn’t until I had cracked my head open that I began to discover how close minded I was. Who enjoys not being right in a world we are always striving for more in?

What if the woman who doesn’t drink is right? What if her saying to me that I have to learn the importance of picking my battles could turn my life around? What if for an example, I woke up and was facing a lifetime in prison because I was so close minded that I couldn’t play the tape through to the end and I drove instead of calling an uber. Close minded people are a lot like drunk people. We know it all and you likely can’t change our minds. We want you to prove everything to us before we might consider you’re right. Even then likely we will sulk in our ego and still find your proof is inadequate and we end up facing life alone or in prison because it was more important to us that our way was the best way. Only to discover it wasn’t.

I’ve written all of this as usual jumping from one subject to the next maybe confusing you.

I hope what that tells you is I’m this person and how you treat me because of it ultimately tells me the kind of person you are.

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

I love the works of Fitzgerald. He and I relate mainly in that I know my way is not the only way. Even when my ego wants to argue with me.

It’s impossible to be the same.

But being kind to each other IS most definitely doable. Apologizing when we are wrong is doable. Loving people with feelings of inferiority is not easy, but it too is doable.

If you can learn the language of someone who deeply battles with feelings of inadequacy you will be able to enjoy them more. Value where they are coming from when they speak to you. Respect they learn differently, speak differently and comprehend differently.

Just as we are willing to learn the Five Love Languages and the Four Agreements. We can learn the language of the literal, critical and abstract thinker.

My opinion after a weekend of deep feelings and reading material. I say this all now based more on my personal experiences then those someone else has written.

We can’t be equal. Not one person knows what it is to be in the mind or body of someone else. How you treat other people is definitely what matters most or we would never have to face making amends. Not you nor I will or can ever be Webster dictionary perfect. Our actions show the whole world who we are. Nothing we can ever say makes the big differences we think they do. What we DO most definitely changes everything.

That’s coming from the little girl who didn’t know why her mom and dad were getting a divorce. Still to this day don’t even have a memory that they sat us down to tell us.

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

Calling in Sick to Homeschool

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

I’ll warn you now this entry gets personal. I lighten it up but I also share deep seeded truth and fact from a piece of where I come from.

It’s 5:00 am and I have new titles this morning. I’m a teacher and a 4th grade student.

Dear God, Help me now. I think I’m going to call in today. NOT.

I can read and write. My vocabulary is fairly on point. I look forward to the reading part of this task but not too excited about the math. Saxon math to be exact. What in the wild earth is Saxon Math? Do they have a Saxon math for Dummies book that I can read first?

4th grade. Day 1. Waiting on bell to ring. 🤷‍♀️

I scuffle through my 9 year old sons back pack. Organized, yet quite obvious that took some help. Once crumbled up in big wad balls for the trash papers now appear somewhat smoothed out and locked in a 3 ring binder like a professional student.

My sons father and I share custody so we are also sharing online learning at home. My first round starts today.

I wasn’t sure how to feel when I saw a progress report for the first 9 weeks that showed an F. Especially when the school has now sent them home twice for Covid19 precautions. That means 4 weeks already taught online at home under the watch of his parents.

Insert, Serenity Prayer here now.

Accept the things I can not change. No worries. We got this.

Have you ever watched someone with no teeth take a bite of steak?

Throwing this curve ball into my routine feels a bit like that image. A doozy this one is for me. Will I be able to gnaw away and eventually reach some level of safe enough to swallow without choking progress today?

Nothing I love more than learning new things. However, I’m 46 and I do not even remember 4th grade at all. Maybe it was when Mr. Sanders was my teacher? Grandma flirted her way through my time there. Homemade treats and giggles at the desk on party day.

Wait. No. It had to be Miss Billy Todds class. She was allergic to the sun and as white as a ghost. Super cranky that one was. Obviously needed some sunshine. She’s the one that made me question why people become teachers when they have no personality. Mean like the witch in The Wizard of Oz.

Needless to say, with so many different schools and teachers it’s hard to remember 4th grade at all.

Oh well. None of that will even matter today as I gear up for my first day of elementary school again. I even get to sit next to one of my favorite people. My 9 year old mini me.

Computer out. Head phones polished. Internet connection strong and………… now what?

Okay. Teacher. Teacher. Where are you?

Ground control to Major Tom. Hello. Is anybody in there? Nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone home?

Yeah. It’s like that.

Here goes nothing. I threw my favorite bathrobe on, because I remember how cold classrooms were back in the old days. A girl has to be warm.

My son. “Mom, it’s not pajama day.”

Me. “Son, everyday until approximately 10:00 am is pajama day.” He looks a bit weirded out by my reply and explains that I might get in trouble for not wearing normal clothes.

Normal clothes? 4th grade? What in tarnations are normal clothes now a days? Obviously not my bathrobe but hey, it’s my first day back. Lighten up on your old mom would ya. Do you at least appreciate that I did my hair?

Pig tails like Gramma use to give me for school.

Welp, wish us luck. I’m about to go to school in the comfort of my own home. I’m also about to get schooled by a 4th grader.

Will be back to update this entry later.

An hour in. SCHOOL SUCKS.

Nothing, I mean nothing at all, has made me feel as dumb as I do after our first hour. We have virtually achieved little. Called teacher. Everything was foreign language. My son says he is done and thatall assignments are completed because there were no assignments. Um. Not quite little man. We’ve been in the wrong app.

Oooooooo Calgon? Where is Calgon?

Over the half way mark of todays first day back to school. I know I sounded quite unhappy earlier. I keep forgetting what I feed my mind is what my mind tends to follow. But, it was a rough start. So that’s fair.

We did manage to find the assignments. We have now completed 3 lessons, 3 quiz’s and 2 tests. Would I want to be a teacher? My answer is still NO! Elementary school teachers need a raise. I don’t believe they get paid enough.

Is having him run laps corporal punishment for paying attention? Just kidding. He actually is doing better than me with this focus thing we have got going on.

The day came and went fairly quickly once we got the hang of it. Now the hard part is letting him do it all himself. You don’t believe that do you? Yeah. Didn’t think so.

If I had to grade today I would give us a B.

B for Bring it on. 💪🏼

Day 2 ~ was not much different than day 1. A lot of navigation errors on our end. I would like to make a suggestion for the elementary school age children that are struggling as I sit back and watch my son get frustrated. Don’t be so hard on yourself for getting an answer wrong. Chances are you didn’t even see the lesson first so the mistakes are legitimately not your fault at all.

It is complicated trying to find all the info you need. Yes. It is there somewhere. But so much time is spent searching for it, that by the time you land on a place you think you need to be then it’s time to move on to something else.

If they could all work in one program that would be great. At least until Jr. High. Maybe? Just a thought as I myself have never felt dumber.

Day 3~ I’m not sure how to start my thoughts on Wednesday ~ half way through. Thank you sweet baby Jesus. I bet the teachers regret that I have their personal cell phone numbers. I am most definitely working those chat lines. So far they haven’t blocked my number.

We managed to make progress yesterday. I shared my very strong opinion with one teacher. I have yet to hear back from her.

She felt my son was doing great now because he had been sent for swats at school before they closed down for Covid19 precautions, again. Which by the way he had been sent to the principal for swats on more than one occasion. His father and I share custody and the info shared with me is limited. I intend to see that change. Of course he has shown improvement. I’m by his side. I leave his side and he accomplishes little because the programs confuse him. He doesn’t even know how to find half of his assignments.

I have watched and learned with my son for 3 days now.
Allow learning to be fun. He is honestly one of the funnest teachers I’ve ever had.

I’m just as confused as he is. Maybe more. But we are making great progress now. I keep repeating that to him. I even explained not everyone will pat you on the back so tell yourself, Great Job.

I’m letting him teach me and I have been fortunate to be home with him this week.

What a wonderful world it would be if teachers had assistants to help in a classroom. So more students could have a little extra aide in the learning process. If it weren’t for other older kids coming into my elementary classroom to help my teachers there is no telling what my grades would have been. I likely wouldn’t have won a Spelling Bee either.

Laws have changed so much and it is sad that they have to take from the children when the children are what need the most protection. Classroom sizes, materials, safety, teachers. What is next? Take away school desks and make them sit on the floor? Feed them fried beans and potatoes at lunch?

I have heard, read and now this year am fully aware of the lack of professionalism that walk the floors our children do. They come with a degree in education and a background check with a thumbs up allowing them to tell us what to do to help our kid’s. Follow me here.

A principal. Fired. Nudity over the school server. Teacher. Kindly asked to resign over similar circumstances. Teacher allowed to move and teach in another state. Ohio to be exact. Teacher’s and students engaged in romantic relationships. No. Not all teachers. Just like not all cops. Just like not all people. Just like not all priests, babysitters or parents.

I look back and recall my friends and I drinking with my high school teacher. He was so cool. Cough, Cough. As his private part is stabbing you in the back. He was twisted and had no business teaching. Pretty sad when in order to have a feeling of safety and security in a classroom or school setting you’re considered the cool kid if you party with your teachers. Nothing about that adds up to make any sense. Absolutely disgusting. That is about it.

Why are so many parents choosing other alternatives and lack faith in our school systems, all our systems in general? My experiences from the past and now with the pandemic panicking and protocols I can’t help wonder. If Elon Musk can design a car to drive itself then maybe he can create a virtual teacher that is safe and makes sense at the same time? My opinion is keep your damn paddle to yourself and if my son is being distracted easily let’s talk about all the options. My hands are tied co-parenting with a custody agreement out of Mayes County. ( No change of venue in sight ) You do not rock a boat you know is going to drowned your child. Or I assure you this would NOT be happening like this. When is it a Principal or a teachers responsibility to advocate in a domestic? Is that even a thing anymore? Too afraid of lawsuits so they sit on their hands quietly.

Listen Linda~ children have love languages too. Mine gets more from positivity and affirmations then he does your principal and her paddle. I’m not anti- butt whoop. I am anti- lazy. I know what hitting me did. You become numb to it. Same for some of those closest to me and countless others. We build more prisons instead of closing and tearing them down. Why? Because a corporal punishment system works? 🤔Nah. I don’t see the proof. Not today Satan. If you only knew what it’s like for that kid when he gets home after he had swats at school. Maybe you would re-think that trip to the office. When you see his fear maybe it isn’t of the paddle. That’s the least of his worries. Maybe it’s the wall he will be bounced off of when he gets home. Don’t think that happens more than not? There is always more than one side to a story. Overhaul a system. I agree but the focus is on the wrong system. Especially when an entire county and school district is corrupt. No one listens to the truth anymore. They listen to the amount that follows the dollar sign when it comes to anything involving the laws of anything.

I have to say this and make sure that I am clear. Just like anything else. One bad teacher does not mean all teachers are bad. I had some of the best teachers and my children have been blessed to have had some of the best. But, if you’re drinking with your teacher I assure you that teacher is not cool. Speaking of drinking. Where is my coffee. It’s almost time to start day 4.

Parents, listen to your children. The bully doesn’t have to be another child. The bully could have a masters degree in education. The bully could be a parent.

Day 4~ Let’s do this. A focus band and a day full of the best we can do starts…………. Now.

Where Do They Go

Where Do They Go

— Read on plumsakeandpot.com/2020/10/04/where-do-they-go/

Updated post~ Where Do They Go

Where Do They Go

Where Do They Go?
©️2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

Where do people who have no-one go?

** No-one? What do you mean?
Someone is always there for someone else.

No. No. No. That is a lie. Homeless people are everywhere. That means they have no-one.

** I can see that you see it that way.

I don’t believe all those people that are homeless have no-one.
Someone has likely sat by the telephone waiting for the phone to ring because the husband, son or brother they remember chooses to sleep in the cold instead of accepting a hand out of it.
Someone likely cried themself to sleep tonight because on the way to bed they passed a family photo that hangs in the hallway. A photo of a time when everyone came together for the same thing. Now one is missing. Maybe two. They can’t seem to make it back home and possibly now never will.

What do people who don’t want to live do when they have no-one they can talk to?

** No-one? What do you mean? Someone is always there for someone else.

No. No. No. That is a lie. Depression is a silent killer. It takes good people away from us everyday because they don’t have anyone to talk to about it.

** I can see how you see it that way. I don’t believe all those people who choose death actually intend to die. I believe they have a deeper meaning in the act of death. That meaning being LOVE. They want it. They don’t feel it. They can’t survive without it. Something has disconnected and they can’t put it back together. They grew so weary and in the moment made a choice. The choice happened to not involve anyone else. It couldn’t. It’s hard to see through fog. You have to move very slowly. Like wearing a blindfold. Praying what lies ahead of you won’t be even more heartbreaking.

Fog? What do you mean fog?

** Depression is fog. Trauma is fog. Guilt is fog.
Loss is fog. Alcohol, and addiction are fog. Divorce is fog. Child custody is fog. Unemployment is fog. Abuse is fog. Mental illness is fog. Death is fog.

Mental health is very foggy. Loss of loved ones, loss of life in general, and tragedy, may be the foggiest of them all. Practically paralyzing.

It’s easy for us to sit back and ask why when our life seems to make sense.

The thing is, we’re all so quick to pass out judgement bucks.
Instinctively we know our life is good so another person should be able to do and have that same thinking. Possess the same abilities to keep their heads up and move forward through tough times.

If only that was how it worked.

Less mom’s would bury children, and less children would bury parent’s gone too soon. Less families would get torn apart and fought for in front of a judge and less people would turn to drugs and/or alcohol. Less children would cry themselves to sleep and less daddies would wonder where it all went wrong. Less grandparents would be the ones raising their children’s children and less children would be forced to be the adult.

I can go on and on about that topic but I won’t. I understand that today we make choices. Addiction is a demon. If your loved one’s didn’t make it back, that is why. There was a time I didn’t understand that. So best I don’t over speak right now because it’s an entire entry in itself.

** When do people ever get to go back home when they have no-one waiting on them or no where left to go?

No where left to go? No-one waiting on them? That’s a big question now isn’t it? So big I can’t begin to fill it with answers you would want to hear. At least not the kind of answers that will satisfy your heart full of hope. Your heart full of compassion. Your heart that always sees the good and the potential in everyone.

I will try to sum it up for you though.
Give me just………just a moment to rewind my life.

I can speak from experience and from all the pieces of me that had to be put back together.
I just need to feel them briefly. So I can make sure the words come out right.

I…………I………I don’t know why I got second chances. I don’t know what I did that got me back on track when I was so obviously and obliviously derailed. I don’t know where the things I chose to do became more important than my family. My babies. Me. I don’t know what my brain and my body were doing as they worked together and against each other.
I……….I………I wanted it to all go away. To not torture myself anymore. To not be misunderstood. To not hurt anyone anymore with my unsatisfactory choices. To not continue such confusing, painful, bitter behavior. To not keep re-living painful images every time I closed my eyes. To not keep hurting those that love me.
I….I knew within me that somethings may never be the same again. Could I live with that? I also had to lay there, in my misery and make a choice. For whatever reason I got another chance to do that. To decide. Life or death. Drunk or sober. Warm bed or cold concrete floor. Home or homeless. Ultimately I made choices that got me there. Was I willing and capable of making a choice to get me out? Honestly, I don’t have the answer. I don’t think I could answer in such a way it would satisfy your question.
I will tell you this though.
I am not sure where my hope came from. But I had some. Little. But still some, nonetheless.
Did it come from the bible? Probably more than it did the bottle. Yes.
Did other people offer it to me? Hope. Yes. Had those same people quit praying and having a shred of faith for me I would likely not be hear to answer your questions.

Why you? Why do you think you got to have a good life again while others roam aimlessly seeking shelter from the cold? Why aren’t you dead? Why did you get a do-over?

** I can easily answer that one for you.

It wasn’t my time to go.
That’s the only thing that kept me here. That’s the only reason I cry myself to sleep at night praying for those I love to come back home. I did. Why can’t they? Why didn’t he?

I believe I have a purpose.

I’m still here because I’m supposed to share how painful it is to keep being kicked when you’re down. I’m still here to tell someone not to give up. To remember loving from a distance is hard but ultimately that gigantic sacrifice is worth it. I’m still here to hold a hand, pay for a goodnight sleep for you and answer the phone when you need someone to talk to because no one else will answer. That’s why I’m still here. That is why so many of us are still here.

That’s the legacy I want to leave behind. That’s the real life story I intend to tell you when you call and ask me when, where, why or how.

That is what I want my children to never forget. In fact, that’s what I love seeing in my children in this very moment of our lives. They love and see potential first. They hate to see a man down. To a fault sometimes.

In my heart and soul I believe they will carry a powerful message with them for the rest of their lives. A message of hope. A message of forgiveness. A message of endurance and strength. It will often feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders. They will tell you without a grandmother who loved them unconditionally they wouldn’t be the men they are today. They will also tell you that you have a heart of gold and not to give up. They will tell you that you will have deep seeded anger towards people you feel let you down, your parents, family members, friends etc. but that you can move through all of that. They will tell you that no, maybe they weren’t in your shoes but the shoes they wore still hurt bad sometimes. They will always offer you a hand up. Probably more than another person would’ve. They will also love you harder and more strongly than anyone has ever loved you, and they will mean it with every fiber they are made of. I didn’t necessarily want to pass down that trait to them because often it can be a heavy quality. But I would much rather have raised children that love so much it hurts than to raise a child that isn’t allowed to have feelings of their own.

How did these questions all end in you talking about your children?

** My children are my legacy. My children are the grandchildren to beautiful people. The nephews to some amazing men, the cousins to a soldier, the husband to a wife, father to a child and the brothers to each other. If I leave them with anything I want them to know about the times that will get tough. The inner strength they have as they may have to face a mad dog more than once. That mad dog may even be them staring back in the mirror. That’s the thing. They have to be able to face that image. Those images that may haunt them someday.

No one prepared me for those times. I didn’t hear thing’s like I put them into words today for someone to read. Brutal and un-sugar coated.

I want to leave a note behind that can last lifetimes across my family tree. Sure. It is in the DNA. I get that. But ultimately I make a choice. You make a choice. Choose wisely. Before it can’t be undone. You may face a no come back zone. That zone is almost always detrimental if you cross into it. I’ve witnessed it. Family, friends, loved ones dear to my heart. In non fiction books and movies based on true stories.

So often we put a mad dog down quickly. Take it to the pound and wish it away. Like it hasn’t a heart beat.

There’s evil and there is lost. Those are two different things.

What once was lost can be found. Like the song sings.

Like a mad dog sitting in a shelter rescued by someone willing to try to love and nurture it against all odds. Some make it. Unfortunately some do not.

I’ve often wondered where they go too.

I often repeat the serenity prayer. Both out loud and in silence.

The hardest part for me is and has always been the last part.

The wisdom to know the difference.

I believe in God. I also believe in choices. I believe that God is love and that love works miracles.

I believe our stories are already written in the stars above when we are born, and that what we choose to believe is where we are able to find and have inner peace.

If I didn’t believe like that, then once upon a time when a supposedly earthly, heavenly preacher gave my mother some advice regarding my alcoholic father, I’d be living and believing that my father was burning in hell. There is nothing peaceful about a thought like that.

I believe in the good first. I have to. Forced with having to make those same decisions as my mother did once, I would go back and do it differently. I believe that. I believe that on purpose. I believe that is my purpose.

It’s not my purpose to let the elder ones tame me. It’s not my purpose to let the ones who walked before me make my decisions. It’s not my purpose to do anything other than love you where you are at. If I can make you smile that’s just an added bonus. Sit with you through what you are feeling. Through the good times and the bad times. Plenty of other people will close the door on you so you can hit a bottom. Learn a lesson. I get that. They have to. I did that. I had to.

Robin Williams ~ The man who knew how to love and shine a light at the end of a dark tunnel.

Today, I don’t.

Today I can sit there until you can laugh again.

Today I’ll take your hand. Today I’ll see you through. Tomorrow is another day and I’ll be there for that one too.

I have to be the calm center.
The eggshells cause too much anxiety.
When I’m absent that is why.
If I’m missing please know I’m safe.
If you call I’ll find a way.
If you need me I’ll choose to stay.
Be patient as I recharge.
I’ll be there.
I just need to catch my breath.

Where Do They Go?
©️2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

Reference below about homelessness numbers.

7 Facts About Hunger and Homelessness You Should Know

Angels have Jean Pockets

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

This story combines an experience with answers to some of my why.

I am narrating from my perspective, my beliefs, and my heart. I’m telling this true story because it is critical to me that we pay better attention to how we treat people. How we leave someone else feeling. How what we do today can make a difference to someone else in a positive way. No. Maybe they can’t see it yet. But my only job is to be the proof. Lead by example. It’s possible to stay upright in very windy conditions with a strong anchor. A heavy base. A good structure.
Join me today as I share with you.

Colorado or Bust. Adventure with Us. Pockets. Do you Mind. Angels Wings. So many different title options for this entry. I chose ‘Angels have Pockets’ based on the feeling I want to leave you with at the end of this read.

I hope you enjoy.

Leaving home never felt so good.

Let’s go. No questions asked. Pack a few bags and just leave.

So we did. From pajamas to presentable, we were on the road within an hour. Off to see the sister. The wonderful sister of…… Okay. Okay. Off to see Jennie, Steven, Sydney and Loki.

Don’t forget to feed the fish. Omg. What about the cats?

Knock, knock, knocking on neighbors door.

Would you mind checking on our fur and fin kids while we take a mini vacation?

Of-course we don’t mind. We enjoy seeing those cats.

Oh thank you, thank you, thank you.

Peace out Missouri.

Zoom, zoom, zoom.

Colorado here we come.

*Things my husband said driving in Kansas*

“Someone’s got a lot of money in fence.“
“Look, there’s nothing out here.”
“Damn, it’s 89 degrees out here.”
“Yep. I meant to do that.”
“Hey, a billboard.”
“At least we have food signs now.”
“Look! It’s 90 degrees. I didn’t think I would see that again until next year.”
“Damn, I was doing great until road construction!”
“Do me a favor honey and take your mask off.”
“Oops, He just got him one.”
“Look at those windmills would ya.”
“Yes. We’re in Salina. Salina Kansas.”

*Made it*

Brother-in-law awaits us at 11:30 p.m. He wakes Jennie. She stumbles down the hallway. Surprise. Sister says a few choice words as the visit was unexpected. No one wakes her after 9 pm unless there is a fire. Well, unless you’re the big sister showing up at damn near midnight . You can only imagine the choice words she spoke. The hug made the words disappear though. Wow. She’s vicious, I giggle as I write.

My ribs hurt. My heart is full.
An over due dose of belly laughs. An over due dose of unconditional love. I think those things are important. Critical. A necessary necessity.

How can time go by so fast? Slow down. We’re all getting older and still have so many things we want to do.

What a beautiful weekend we had. Family and a friend who’s family, all together. These are the moments I live for. My niece, aka my music teacher. She always has a new band for me to fall in love with. Can’t forget Loki. The beautiful black dog that doesn’t care if I say her or him because love is enough and I love that darn dog.

It was not until Saturday morning lying so comfortably on an air mattress that I knew why we left in such a hurry and so sporadic on Friday. ( no air mattress is ever comfortable) But in that moment it was the most comfortable bed I’ve ever rested on. I felt that I could sleep there every night for the rest of my life. (I would probably upgrade to a mattress pad one day but nothing mattered like the peaceful feeling that consumed me)

It will be a quick two days. But I’ll never forget them.

The heart knows what the heart needs. Our hearts needed them. That was evident as I sat among my sister, brother-in-law and husband on the back patio of their Colorado home.

Since I met my husband, we have lived. There’s no denying that. We have laughed, and we have cried. Truly, we have loved and laughed more than anything else we’ve done. Maybe just the timing. I don’t know. What I do know is what we have in common. That is not taking our day’s for granted. We are nice people. If we get mad or upset with you that means you have reached a level of disrespecting us we refuse to tolerate.

How we live and what we consider living, may not be the kind of living that romantic flights to Paris may be considered. But we have lived nonetheless. So much so, and in such a short amount of time.

How is it even possible to cram so much good into only a couple of years? I’m still living that part so maybe I’ll be able to update this page one day. Write an entire book about the things yet to come. Anything’s possible.

My kind of Royal T

I deeply believe when a soul’s been missing pieces, the right people fit perfectly. Like birds of a feather that flock together. A piece to a puzzle that was lost in the couch cushions. Found. What was broken, now put together.

This morning, under the sunshine that snuck through a tall pine tree, I saw the happiest husband in the world. I wish I could put that moment into words. I suppose it was one of those majestic moments that you just have to feel, see and memorize. His smile. That joyful grin. The look of peace he was wearing. I’ll never forget that look as long as I live.

Dusty with Loki~ The Magic Dog

That’s why this trip happened. To remind us that life can be serious and it can be fun. It can be full of adventure one day and nitty gritty the next. But if we could all just lighten up a little bit that would be great.

Too damn serious. But a girl has to eat.

I say that like I’m complaining but if it weren’t for a pair of cranky pants, this trip may have not happened. Okay. Go ahead. Carry on. Be a jerk. Maybe we’ll take more trips because of it. Just kidding. Or am I?

Indeed, I have no clue how stressed anyone else is. Maybe someone is having a bad day. I don’t know. Not my circus therefore not my monkey. I try to use that to limit what I allow in my life.

I know truly, madly, and deeply that I don’t get a re-do. I’m 46. I’ve been a jerk more than my fair share. Not the me I am today. Not the me I want you to remember. Not the me that enjoys life.

I don’t have to be a jerk. You don’t have to be a jerk. More importantly, I don’t have to accept you treating me less than I treat you.

Think about it. How do you want to spend what could be your last day? Uptight? Blood pressure through the roof? Yelling, cussing, frenzied. I get it. We all get stressed. But do you really have to be a jerk? I am sorry to tell you this but that’s a choice. So don’t you dare get upset when someone decides that they aren’t going to accept the way you treat them.

We all have our days. I just can’t help believe we are capable of being much nicer people in general. Especially to one another. Go kick a brick or something if you’re mad. Something that has no heart. Something made up of concrete instead of feelings.

Do I wake up every morning in a good mood? No, I do not. I don’t always roll out of bed feeling peachy. When my feet hit the floor I often feel a zap in my sciatic nerve. On the way to the bathroom, I’m two left feet. Eyes glued shut from sleep gunk. No. I assure you that first morning pee is not full of glitter. In fact I feel a UTI coming on. Shit, is it a pulled muscle again? Ugh. Hard to differentiate at 5:00 am. I say “ugh,” more than I cheer some mornings.

I suppose I’ve reached a new level of Jumanji. Waking up in a good mood is possible.

Grandma always said, “You are going to sleep your life away.”

“Sure Grandma. Uh huh. Whatever.” said younger, know it all me.

Grandma was right though. I wish I could go back and have early morning coffee with her. Damn it. She was always awake early. She always appeared to be in a good mood. I now understand why.

I appreciate all the hours in a day that I get to be creative. I can’t do that sleeping. Hence, the change in my lifestyle.

Wake up and be a better person than I was yesterday.

Wake up and share the hour with my husband before he leaves to start his work day.

Wake up and watch the sunrise out my bedroom window.

Wake up and take a drink of coffee for Grandma.

Wake up and take a deep breath that I can feel from head to toe as I stretch myself more awake.

I can tell you, from the moment I realize I am awake, I am grateful. I have another opportunity to make memories. I don’t always say, “Thank you God.” But, I’m aware of the gift of a new day. I’m grateful to open my eyes and see my husband. My cat’s. I can’t wait to start the day and watch what I write make sense. Visit with friends and coworkers. Appreciate each one of them.

That’s truly my goal. Be the best me possible now. Not in a month or two. Not in a year. Not tomorrow. Today.

Live 80 years just to enjoy and appreciate 1, 2, 5, maybe 6 of them?

Appreciate the hummingbird bird floating around the big red canna flower out my back door in a few years because I’m too distracted and busy to see the beauty of it today?

Wait until I’m 71 to cruise down the highway and appreciate the sunrise peeking over the top of the rolling hills that lay in front of me?

I’m sorry friend, I can’t listen this morning. I have too many things to do. I’ll call you tonight or tomorrow.

Damn it. I’m so guilty of that. I use other things to stay so busy I don’t have to look at what is genuinely most important. You. Them. Us. Now.

Is that who I want to be? Is that my purpose? To be so busy creating my future, my retirement and a tomorrow I may never see that I can’t respect your time now? Today?

NO. I will not accept that.

I will do my best to genuinely mean my smiles throughout the day. My gratitude list will continue to grow. I will keep living and experiencing as many firsts as possible. When I hug you, I won’t take that hug for granted. When you share a story with me, I want to memorize it. When you smile as you speak of something you are passionate about, I want to paint that image across a mountainside. I want to give your passion my utmost respect, and honor it.

Everyone has either a full life ahead of them, a day, an hour or perhaps just one more second. If I don’t wake up tomorrow, I choose extra happy today because it’s possible I’ll never see you again. If that annoys you then that’s just on you. Not a weight I’m willing to carry any longer.

If I live to a ripe old age of ( be it any number ) I hope you can remember how happy I was. In fact, as we all grow older I hope we can inspire each other to literally live as if tomorrow may never show up. No guarantees.

Grateful for every new day? Is that really even a thing? It is when you make it to middle age like I am now. “Why?” you ask. Insert (Because I said so) here.

This out of nowhere trip to Colorado carved something into my heart like first crush initials deep in a tree.

Seriously. I can’t waste anymore time. I’ve already outlived my father and a daughter. I have been given an opportunity to show my respect to them by the gift of life. That idea came later and hit hard; But a gift nonetheless.

Them to me, “A Gift? Are you high? Drunk? Delusional? Pain is nothing like receiving a gift.”

You’re absolutely right. It’s not. Not your typical gift I suppose. It isn’t in a pretty package with a shiny bow. That’s for certain. It’s different. It’s like air. Like sight. Like a 7th sense. I wish I could bottle it up and give it to you. The only way I can advise you to get the gift I’m referring to is to not give up. It’s a gift that waits for you. There when you’re ready.

It’s the light you don’t see yet at the end of a tunnel. It’s the smile you will get when a cardinal appears. It’s the strength you use to get out of bed in the morning. It’s a hug you receive from a friend. It’s the penny you’ll see on the ground when you open your car door. It’s the random memory that pops into your head out of nowhere. It’s the new people you meet that embrace you like they have known you forever.

I admit it. Somedays I’m overly optimistic. Before judging that though, consider that I’m that way because being such a realist was too gloomy. I don’t want sadness to be the end of my story. I want my story to have a happy ending. In order for that to happen, I have to become the very ending that I want to have.

I intend to write that ending out from now to the very last page, by how I live. How I treat other people will define me. What I do everyday will become my signature. If I hiccup. I’ll face that, if and when it comes. No one is perfect. Right? Please tell me you understand that.

I understand there are days, weeks and hours that we have to take seriously. No light footing allowed. Nose to the grind. Jobs don’t get finished by nice guys. I suppose that’s true to an extent. I won’t reiterate my thoughts on this today. That will come another time. But I will share this. I believe being a jerk is unnecessary. What purpose does it serve? Can’t life be hard enough as it is sometimes? Why risk adding insult to injury for someone by being mean to them?

Life can feel like an eternity when each day is spent trying to tread through mud made of anxiety, tears and broken hearts. It gets heavy. It’s exhausting. I remember often wanting to fall flat into the mud and drown.

People threw ropes to me. Life lines. Hope and affirmations I wanted to vomit on. Angrily, weighed down and addicted, I tromped and I crawled. I got very tired but I held onto the thin thread of possibility that I could make it. I can only write this because I didn’t let go.

When we lose loved one’s, not everyone will show up feeling the joy in a celebration of life ceremony. Death is painful. It’s understandable that we can’t find our funny bones in such events. I promise you I understand that. I have kicked dirt on my fair-share of tombstones. I don’t want that to be the last memory you have of me. I don’t want your last memory of me to be broken.

If one day I am 80, I hope you’ll take me with you. One last hoorah. Be it in a book you write or a memory we have shared together.

Maybe I’ll repeat over and over again how I was never married because truly the man I am married to is too good to be true. I must be dreaming. Maybe I’ll think you are him and him, my son.

Maybe you’ll sit next to me on a park bench and I’ll tell you about the day my children were born. I’ll tell you how being their mother was the most monumental moments of my lifetime.

I want to hold your hand and watch a sunrise chase a sunset. Tell you all about the time I watched the moon play peek~a~boo in Colorado. Maybe I’ll repeat the story a thousand times because my age has taken its toll.

Peek~a~boo Sun
Kansas Sunset September 25th 2020

It terrifies me to know a day could come that I might not know the name of my children, my family, siblings, loved ones or friends.
If that day does come, I want you to remember something. Please. Remember this. I lived and I loved with every piece of me.

My mind may be disappear, diminish, and even play tricks on me. But my spirit has wings. My wingspan is vast, and full of pockets. Pockets that I carry you all in.

We all go through ups and downs. Such as life. What’s important is the turns. When we get shook a little sideways or knocked off track it helps to have people in our corner to remind us of what we’re made of. Your people. Made just for you. Those kind of people. You need them. They need you.

The people to remind us to quit white knuckling everything. To tell us the sun is a reminder we can be more kind. Telling us to remember to smile more. To help us never forget that the moon shows up to remind us to hold onto hope and pray more. To hold someone else’s hand and help them up more. To ultimately experience…….true love more.

Angels can have jean pockets right?
Garden of the Gods
Colorado September 26th 2020

Today, tomorrow and every day after that, I promise you this; My mind may forget it all. But, my heart and soul never will. My wings have pockets and there’s room for all of you.

Angels have Jean Pockets

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean