Feb 27, 2009

Goodbye Colorado...

Those are the headlines this morning on all of the local television and radio stations, newspapers and in general discussions around all offices. I'm sure for people not living in Colorado they would think that this was such a silly topic to focus all of the energy and emotion on today. We have had two newspapers, Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post for years and years. Two different formats, different writers, different photos...different everything. And today the Rocky Mountain News is closing their doors. The final edition was printed and delivered to newsstands, grocery stores and sidewalks. I went outside this morning to get my paper and this read the cover in silence. My heart breaks to see the ending come...

Technology has changed the way people receive their information. But I have to admit that i enjoy reading my paper every evening, seeing the historical moments documented in a way that I could never reproduce. My heart breaks for the hundreds of employees were are now unemployed and searching for a place to call home. So for today...I'm going to remember that when I order an actual newspaper it helps to keep hundreds employed. And when I run to the grocery story and consider doing the self-check out...I will wait in line with the others to ensure that I am not eliminating a job.

Most importantly, I am sad to see the newspaper that I grew up with and have loved as an adult close it's doors for good. Goodbye Rocky Mountain News...

Feb 19, 2009

I can't believe...

how much life changes in a year. One year ago I was sleeping on the bathroom floor with Chester for the very last time. One year ago tomorrow I drove that long and lonely drive to the vet with Chester where I had to say my final good-byes and I was hoping that putting him down would give him comfort from his pain. One year ago I came home alone, to live by myself for the first time in 17 years.

I don't think that I have actually shared this before, but what the hell...I have told you other random things. I felt completely empty and alone during that week after his death and before I brought his ashes home. I had always promised him that I would spread his ashes outside, because he had been an inside cat all of his life. He would look outside in awe...like he wondered what was really out in that crazy world. The night I brought his ashes home I sat on the floor crying because he was home and he was gone all at the same time. And right in that moment...something brushed my neck...just like Chester use to do. It freaked me out and I was embarrassed to share but sure that he was in my house again. A couple of nights later I was in the basement doing laundry and something brushed against my legs...but nothing I could see. That was the last time I had that experience. I think that the was the last time we were in the same house.

I only shared that story with a few people in my life. People I loved, people I trusted. And when I shared that experience with my parents they responded in such a surprising way. They looked at each other in surprise and shared that my mom had felt him crawl up on her bed in the middle of the night just a few days prior. She moved over to make room for him on her pillow...she said she felt her pillow deflate like it would if he was sleeping next to her. And in disbelief she whispered to my dad that Chester had crawled on the bed and was sleeping next to her. My dad whispered back...I know...I felt him earlier.

I'm sure some of you are reading this thinking that I might have snapped and lost my mind. But I really am a logic driven person who knows that these experiences were real, not something that I created in my imagination. Keeping his ashes around was to comfort me, but now it's time to let them go and honor my promise. So I will let him free to go outside finally.

One year ago I couldn't imagine loving another animal. One year ago I didn't know if I would feel less empty and alone. One year later I have Fred who has reminded me I can love. One year later I still miss Chester. One year later...I'm not as alone or empty. But for tonight and maybe tomorrow...I am just going to love Chester and say I miss him.

Feb 18, 2009

You made what?

My job silly...in fact I can honestly say that on a daily basis I hear things and deal with people and situations that most people will never encounter. There are moments of frustration, confusion, joy and mostly...laughter. There is usually at least one thing each day that makes me laugh out loud.

I was talking with a colleague from another school today and they shared the following story: This week they had over 15 students in their offices regarding pipes, Mary-Jane and poor choices. Yesterday they discovered three handmade pipes that were nicely carved, detailed...handmade pipes. One of the students who was in possession of one of the pipes was explaining their path of poor choices to a parent. At the end of his explanation the parent asked..."where did you get the pipe?" The answer..."I MADE IT IN WOOD SHOP CLASS!"

Feb 13, 2009

Just like your father...

When did that happen? I consider myself to be very liberal and open minded. I support every bodies right to live their life without judgement (as long as nobody is being physically abused) and am open to most situations. I learned that partially from my parents and I guess the other part of that is just part of my genetic coding. But the other side of that is my childhood was filled with "life lessons," "tough love," and "lifting your head up and just walking through life." My parents are realists who raised us to be the same. There are moments when I wish that I was simply a dreamer or even just believed that everything would always turn out good. But that's not it...I was taught that life can be hard, I would be hurt and I am expected to survive regardless.

My dad was a wrestling coach throughout my entire childhood and he took it very seriously. He viewed wrestling as a way of life, maybe a philosophy would better describe his views. He would lecture us that wrestling was a snapshot of the world...you had to depend on yourself, it was hard work, full of pain and joys...and that in a split second everything can change. And you have two choices, to give up or fight.

I was telling somebody this morning a story from my childhood that finally made that connection of his lessons. When I was in middle school, a couple of friends (or ex friends more accurate) egged my house and spray pained, in red paint, my name and then words like slut, bitch, whore!!! It took up the entire sidewalk in front of my house. My mom tried to pour some water on it and nothing changed. My dad told me that a power washer might help...but we didn't have one. And then that was it! They acted like it was nothing and expected me to do the same. I never mentioned it again. So for the next several years, that stayed out in front of my house like Scarlet letter. Except for the fact that I had never been in a sexual relationship of any kind at that point...so they were just lies for people to read about me. The neighbors asked me about them periodically, friends who came to visit and even family members gathering at our house would all have the chance to read the ugly words (lies) about for years to come.

I hadn't talked about that or even remember that event for such a long time. And I have to be honest, I would do it different for my child. I would rent a power washer to remove the lies and hurt branded on a place that is suppose to be their retreat from the outside world. But, I get why my parents didn't and even have some respect for that choice. I learned to stay focused on what I knew about me. I learned to not hand out that type of judgement to somebody else because I know how quickly one action can change and hurt. I learned to survive and stand up and walk through the hurt, shame and embarrassment. That doesn't make it easier or less hurtful...but it makes me a survivor.

Feb 9, 2009

I'm still here

Although I know it feels like I have fallen off of the radar. I have been busy, sick (soooo sick actually) and mostly feeling uninspired to write here. I have missed it and tried to come up with great things to share. I have hidden from the world for bit and become very, very quiet. But I also know it's time to come out of that cave and enter the world again. So I finally went to the doctor today and got some meds to make me feel better! I have been exercising and working on feeling great in my own skin again! And I am working on the inspiration. Just wanted you all to know that I'm still here and hoping to make a come back.