Tag Archives: survival

Deep Gratitude

This week I asked God to show me things and events I take for granted or overlooked, things for which I’m thankful.

All y’alls probably don’t forget the epic moments in your lives that turned the tide for you. This morning I awoke with one such memory – that ended a friendship.

Typically I prefer to avoid dwelling on the dark times of my early past, but this week memories blessed me with a clearer perception of God’s infinite grace, the day I didn’t pull the trigger.

My family of origin is rich – with extremes. Some of those include violence. When I was young I witnessed such from a distance and was sometimes at the receiving end. While I not only survived but overcame them, they affected me. Not always in positive ways.

I left my marriage not solely to remove my sons and myself from physical harm but because of infidelity on many levels. We all got over it, but soon after the separation I recognized violent roots in me.

A good friend surprised the boys and me with a visit to our new home. She’d told me weeks before her new husband had shoved and grabbed her hard enough to bruise her. I wasn’t as happy to see him with her.

woman-angry-pixabayHe quickly felt my reluctance to receive him and soon began urging her to leave. Forgetting all she’d confided in me, she simply said they wouldn’t stay long.

 

After chatting in the kitchen I started walking them through the house to show her the changes we’d made. Soon didn’t come fast enough for him. Entering the second room he grabbed her arm forcefully, insisting they leave immediately. I perceived violence.

revolver-sillouette-bixabayFaster than I recall ever moving before, I reached into the closet we stood next to and retrieved the single action .22 revolver we kept at the back of the high shelf.

I aimed the barrel at her husband’s brow saying, “Let go of her, and leave.” My eldest son later said my strange, icy tone gave him chills from the other room and the pitch of my friend’s voice confirmed her terror as she warned her husband, “She will shoot. Don’t test her.”

The husband realized his life depended upon his next move. He slowly let go of her, raising his hands above his head. From the doorway, thirteen-year-old Iain stepped beside him, and taking his elbow urged him toward the back door saying, “Good choice.”

As the husband backed away with Iain, he cautiously said “Honey, if you’re ready I’ll be in the car.”

In my history the behavior and attitude the husband initially exhibited typically led to me bleeding. One of the last such instances, my friend was in the house during some of the brutality I had survived. In the present all I could think of was protecting my sons and perhaps my friend.

Iain guided the husband outside. After closing the door I lowered my weapon. My friend shocked me by shaming me for doing what I considered the best response to the situation. She cried saying she couldn’t understand me. I was dumbfounded.

Months before Erin came to take me to the hospital. I’d been hit so hard I didn’t get up. After I came to I determined it was the last time I was going down defenseless. The friend I presently stared at, mouth agape in disbelief, had witnessed the attack and called Erin.

As the couple drove away I checked the pistol and then put it back on the shelf. I gathered my sons and assured them everything was okay and then encouraged them to talk about what had just happened. Soon I asked Iain why he went to the husband. He answered, “I saw you hadn’t pulled the hammer back, but he didn’t.” Then shrugging his shoulders he quoted his uncle, “Neutralize the threat.” There were no other questions.

Iain has always astounded me – often in good ways. He never forgot Grandpa, a WWII vet, vigilantly teaching the family of huntsmen, “You hear that sound [a firearm cocking], drop wherever you are.” Iain had’t heard that distictive sound that day.

Minutes later we all returned to what we’d been doing before the guests arrived as though it was any other day.

In almost 25 years, I did not recall that event. After many changes in my life and my heart the memory came to me, tormenting me for days. At the time of that incident I was remarkably spontaneous, especially proactive regarding any perceived threat. A practiced shootist then, I gladly remember now that I never cocked the gun that day. It was the last time I’d pulled a firearm for over two decades.

worship-girl

Whenever I just breathe deeply enough to feel the familiar old scars where my ribs and scull cracked beneath my beloved’s boots, I am thankful. Today I’m thankful to be home safe and sound. I’m not proud, but I’m thankful for the times I stood against physical violence with equal force. And I thank God especially that one particular stand could have gone horribly wrong, but didn’t.

Mostly I’m thankful for my sons. Against the odds they are peacekeepers today.

“When I think of all this I fall to my knees and pray to the Father… Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:14, 20 (NLT)

Images courtesy of Pixabay

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Filed under A Door Ajar, Longreads

Humpty Dumpty Tuesday

calendar coffee-pen-3888x2592_20495

Initially I felt alarmed by the sudden, harsh reality that today is Wednesday, Hump Day – and not Tuesday. Since my brand new Fitbit Dashboard recorded elevated levels attesting that’s actually understated, I admit I freaked out the first half-hour of my day. However, I must quickly add, I only wasted the second fifteen minutes like that – the first were actually lovely.

The recap: halfway into my organic, non-GMO, unsweetened soy, Italian roast, honey-amaretto latte and a first bottle of water, I noticed the satellite clock read Wednesday. Wednesday, not Tuesday. That the…

Instinctively, my heart rate rocketed, I sprang  walked circumspectly up the stairs, to my laptop to find the draft I intended to post early Tuesday morning (rather than late-morning) remains a draft. Confused and slightly shaken, I thought through the events of the past 24 hours or so:

  • Opal was home most of the day after taking a weekend off. I usually have the house to myself most days – this is not typical.
  • I must think and remember it’s winter. While everyone north of us endures lower temps, snow and ice, we’ve enjoyed sunny afternoons in the high 60’s – mid 70’s
  • Roan (who works in Retail) arrived home yesterday morning at the regular time – for the eighth consecutive day; also not typical.
  • I had invested unscheduled time, actually far more time than I anticipated, downloading and starting up my Fitbit account, charging and recharging my worn cell and tablet batteries and, hoping to raise the Fitbit bar, I invested extra time in fitness workouts for my initial Fitbit entry.
  • Opal and I had purged the refrigerator, freezer and pantry (and then, of course I washed the refrigerator) – not typical for a mid-month weekday.
  • I rotated my mattress – also not typical for a mid-month weekday. Least to mention the chore took me three times longer than usual as I performed it unassisted (those who camouflage storage boxes beneath the box springs with a bed skirt understand).
  • This just in: according to Fitbit I slept for 6 hr 26 mins, 3 x awake, 6 x restless.

With so many variables, I accept it is inarguably Wednesday, not Tuesday.

More notable still, I’m actually celebrating the fact that I’m still walking (1,688 steps so far), breathing and the world continued to turn without my Tuesday post. Not that long ago I would be going through some epic mental penance and flagellation exercises for not fulfilling my entire previous day’s agenda, trying to justify my existence in the universe. Though I feel slightly sheepish and will most likely experience some degree of disappointment as today progresses and reveals more unmet expectations, Fitbit confirms I’m in good shape with only 4.8 pounds to go to my target weight. I can live with that.

Especially in America too many grand parents, moreover great-grand parents are in far worse shape. On the average our dimensions change dramatically and we gain weight as we age, without regard to our resources, education, experience and genetic backgrounds. I am indeed blessed. While I suffer occasional aches and pains, and I don’t run more than a few yards at a time (literally) or skip as I like to anymore, time has not ravaged my body nearly as harshly as many of my peers. As compared to once or twice a year, I misconstrue the actual day and date more frequently occasionally. However, I know many millennials that do likewise also.

golden-Jesus -moon-2432x4320_77278love all the timeThe difference in me today is all about perspective and grace. While I continue the practice of loving myself the way God loves me, I learn more about life and relationships than ever before – including my relationship with myself. While I’m still climbing uphill, I do so because I took on another peak, not because I arrived at the pinnacle and set up camp.

Okay. So, I momentarily “lost” a day this week. So what? Time didn’t stop for anyone I know of. I’m not shattered. So, I’ll just roll with it, and hope I somehow bless someone else that might feel like they’re losing it. What’s more, I’ll likely enjoy Friday even more for posting what I’d intended for yesterday!

 

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matthew 6:25-27

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Filed under Notes from the Apex

Joke’s On Me

Changing routines in our household is like moving the furniture in a blind and deaf person’s space.

Typically in our household I am up and moving about hours before anyone else. With the elevated pollen count and the North Texas autumn’s arrival (our first experience here), I feel like someone moved all the furniture.

This morning, the first Friday of the month, the entire household abounded with entirely too much brain activity, very many words, followed by questions. All this included considerable use of numbers, something I try to avoid at least 25 days each month – this isn’t one of the number days I recall planning. This all set in motion before my brain actually did.

The good news; in this trepid land of three alpha females under the same one roof; all survived with no bloodshed or flying fur – two hours later all funds are allocated and mostly disbursed.

Someone should write this down.

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Filed under The World According to Roo