thankyouI am not good with Thank You.

It is not that I have problems saying thank you. I can enunciate thank you effortlessly, and often. The words roll of the tongue like dew off a leaf. The ease in which we use these two words frightens me. I have an innate sense of the minuteness of the words. They lack the ability to convey the profound depth of emotion behind them. They cannot portray the surge of love, relief, gratitude, and overwhelming desire to express the deepest aspects of our soul.

Thank you.

You’re welcome.

We move on.

Never hearing, or comprehending, the endless depth of sincerity. Yes, we throw the words a round at times. The rush of meetings, ringing phones, honking horns, encroaching voices. A quick, “Thank you,” typed hastily at the close of an email. Nothing more then simple words. These are not the thank you’s I refer to.

I mean the thank you’s I cannot put into words. The ones surmised in unwritten cards. The unsaid. Blank. Lonely. Heartbreakingly meant more deeply than expressed. These are the Thank You’s I cannot verbalize. The words catch deep in my chest; to never leave my lips.

How does one say, “Thank You!,” when what is meant is, “You saved my life!”? “You mean the world to me!”, does not fit in two simple words.

“Your assistance was vital!”

“Having you here meant the world to me!”

“What would I do without you?”

Even the depth of gratitude in these phrases fails miserably to portray the truth.

To put pen to paper, to say Thank You, is my nemesis. It is a profound short coming in my character. I have yet to find a viable solution to rectify this matter. I’ve searched. I’ve written. I’ve tossed many great ideas. And still, I come up short.

In truth, I blame it solely on fear of failure. I’m terrified of not saying enough…or saying to much…or not saying the right thing…or saying the right thing…or…. the complexity of the fear stills my hand.

A psychologist, I’m sure, would say it is due to lack of social, and emotional, development throughout my formative years. I, however, would not trade my years of quiet contemplation, alone, surrounded by animals. Solitude in nature portends many lessons. Most importantly, a deeper understanding of our connection.

Still, Thank You is a weight I do not carry lightly. Although my actions may incur doubt when my silence persists. I will sit here, nightly, dumbfounded and struggling simply to say, Thank You. Those words carry with them my soul; a depth and breadth one cannot conceive, nor portray.

And I will hope, for today, you grasp my ‘Thank You,’ as one grasps a life raft. Clinging, pulling it closer, in the realization you are the reason for my thankfulness. Your existence, your very being, the miracle which is you, is the reason I go on. Always.

My heroes. My angels. My family. My friends. From my heart to yours, Thank you!


A Letter to My Parents on the Day of My Wedding.

Dear Parents,

As I prepare for my wedding day, and the nerve wracking walk down the aisle. I realize now, more than ever, your absence will have a profound effect on this day.

My dearest father, your absences is by far the most deeply felt. In all of my life it has always been you there beside me. You have wiped away my tears. Held my hand in the best, and worst of times. You were there when I was most scared. Comforted me when I faced my own mortality. Laughed with me in appropriate, and inappropriate times.

You taught me to love life, and not to fear death. You raised me to be just like you – free thinking, caring, out spoken, strong willed, and loving. You helped me see the miraculous in the mundane. You believed in me when I failed to believe in myself, and no one but you will ever understand how grateful I am for “D-Day.”

But today, I face the future without your calm assurance. You are not here to take my arm and walk me down the aisle. Your smile and glittering eyes will not be here to help me face what is to come. I feel your absence, in this moment, far more deeply then you will ever know. Today, I face the world alone.

I asked you to be beside me in the walk down the aisle. You answered, “No.” I sent save-the-dates and the wedding invitation. The lack of an RSVP was a harsh way for you to again say “No.”

We talked, and I understood. I am not angry you said no. The choice was yours, and I still understand. Life is a series of choices; the outcomes of which bring either happiness or regret. I truly hope you never regret your choice. History is not on your side though.

You chose not to attend, because I was marrying a person of the same sex. You do not believe two people of the same sex should marry. Who I am, believes you have an outdated view on same-sex relationships. Who I am, however, is not making the decision. It is your view, your belief and to change it would be to change you. I would not change a thing about you. I wonder….would you ask me to change?

You grew up in a time where sex was rarely discussed. Where same-sex relationships were greatly taboo. You joined the military – The Fighting Marines – in a time of unrest. You survived Vietnam but gained a darker view of same-sex relationships. I’ve read the stories, I know the side of the fence you stand on. It is part of who your are, who you were raised to be.

Belief systems, phobias, inherited behaviors; they all make up who you are. I cannot be angry at you for any of it. I understood, and I understand, because I love you. You will always be my hero. And I know, you will always love me.

But today,…

I could have used your strength, and your shoulder. I fell apart this morning because, for a moment, I felt so very alone. I could have used your calm voice, reminding me I’ve survived worse. I could have used your ability to laugh which, so often, accompanies your presence. The lost little girl in me could have really used her father.

I will make it through today. I will laugh. I will dance. I will be surrounded by amazing people, heroes and angels in their own right. I will marry the love of my life, best friend, and split-apart. But…

The absence of your presence will be profound, and have a lasting impact. I will never be angry at your choice, and I will ALWAYS love you.


My Not-So-Dearest Mother, they tell me little girls dream of their wedding day. They’re wrong in my case. Throughout planning my wedding I’ve never ‘seen it,’ as many girls would. I feel robbed of the anticipation I should have felt. In turn I robbed my girlfriend of hers. It should not be this way!

I have never pictured myself in fancy dresses. Lavish decorations, the perfect music, the wedding party to end all wedding parties. These things never found their way into my daydreams, or fantasies. It has made ‘The Wedding’ planning increasingly difficult. How do you say, “This is what I want!,” when what you want is empty.

The screen of my mind is blank. No picture perfect wedding day exists. No fanfare. No beautiful cake. No swishy, swirly, lacy dress with matching shoes. Just blank, black, endless nothing.

In a perfect world, you were supposed to be there for wedding planning. There were supposed to be conversations on makeup, hair, dating, clothes, etc. You should have met my first boyfriend, or girlfriend. I should have been excited to confide in you. Telling you my secrets. Seeking your opinion on everything, anything. You were meant to be there. You should have been there!

Instead, you disappeared into a fantasy world of your own design. You surrounded yourself with brick walls. Wrought iron bars locked the world out, and you in. You were more afraid of life than of living it. And in your disappearing act you took the world with you. The animosity I hold in relation to you is never ending.

My wedding day will not including you. No save the date, or invite, will ever be sent. You could barely be bothered to visit while I lay close to death. What point would there be in you attending my wedding?

Perhaps, one day, I will send you a wedding invite. You can add it to your filing cabinet, where possibilities have endlessly went to die. I’m sure you’ll find a way to blame my father for this as well.

The absence of your presence will be profound, but for all the wrong reasons. Your life must be so very cold and lonely.

To My Kids, I will never consider myself the greatest mom. I failed you in so many ways. I made mistakes throughout your lives. I failed to be there when I should have been. I pushed to much, or not enough. I yelled when I should have listened. I walked away when I should have fought. I was far from the perfect mother, but I loved you unconditionally with each breath.

It is with that love I tell you this now. I will listen to everything you have to say. I may not always hear, but I will listen. I will love you unconditionally, even when I don’t love your choices. You may be gay, straight, crooked, or cross eyed; and I will still love you indefinitely.

I am not perfect. I will always make mistakes. My first reaction to something you say, may not be the one you’re looking for…give me time to analyze and think things through. The reaction which follows will be worth the wait.

I want to share everything I can with you, but I don’t always know how. I will be awkward. I will embarrass you. I will make you angry. I will torment you. I will ask a million questions…or none at all. I will be annoying and send you “Are you still alive?” text messages. I will plot the demise of any and all who hurt you…until you tell me otherwise. I will drag out the baby pictures every chance I get. I will remind you that, while you may have 20+ birthdays under your belt, you are still my baby. I will welcome each and every hug; their value to me is immeasurable.

Each of you are my sunshine, and I will love you unconditionally and endlessly; until my dying day. Your absence from my life, even if just by distance, is more than profound. There are no words…

Learning to Lose

There is this great idea sweeping the nation. The reason the idea is so great is because… well… we’re all unhealthy. The idea? Oh, weight loss of course!

It is a great idea. If you can do something to work toward being healthier more power to you! Just don’t get stuck on the idea of looking like a movie star you see on TV, or a model, or someone you’ve seen in a magazine.

If you are plus size now, don’t disillusion yourself. Weight loss will not solve all of your problems. That is the biggest lie we’ve been sold. Working to be healthy is smart. Deciding to lose weight because, ‘it will solve everything!’, is a mistake to many make. It is usually what causes a person to gain back all the weight they lose.

Let me put it to you this way. I started a weight loss journey five months ago. It has been an eye opening journey. I started it out of frustration. I was tired. Tired of being uncomfortable in my own skin; tired of worrying about a dozen things every time I went somewhere. I worried about whether chairs would break if I sat on them. I worried about being around people, and walking through crowds. I worried about what people thought if I ate something in public. I could see the thoughts, and I was tired….

Being ‘plus size’ is exhausting! The looks, the stares, the comments, the comments when people think you are not within hearing range… you can learn to live with those. You even feel sorry for the people giving you the looks and making the comments. They live a sheltered life. They have been ‘protected’ from being larger. They have not had to experience the embarrassment, or true, deep, unending, disappointment.

There is only one way to fight anything that makes you uncomfortable – knowledge. So, after trying diets, fad diets, different doctors and their not so brilliant answers. I finally did what I should have done. I went for the science. I found a doctor who didn’t just shove pills at you, or hand you off to a dietician. She introduced me to the science behind weight gain. The science behind why so many of us are losing the battle of the bulge.

Our own bodies are our worst enemies. They are built to store fat. That is what their sole purpose is at times. When we lived in caves and food was scarce. Our bodies stored everything it could so we could survive. Now, with an abundance of food, it is still storing.

Don’t get me wrong. What we eat matters. Eating McDonald’s every night is not going to cause weight loss. Although those warm, golden fries are hard to resist! We have to learn a tasty but healthy alternative. As with most things, WE, is the keyword. We have to make a choice. And it won’t be an easy one.

I made that choice 5 months ago. I’m glad I did. I’m glad I know the science behind it. It is what my mind needed to change. The thing is though…

They show these weight loss shows on TV where people drop hundreds of pounds in a year, or less. The people on these shows are always smiling, happy; life is perfect, after the weight loss. They don’t show reality though. This is what I have been learning through my journey.

In the beginning it was easy. Nothing really changed. Drop twenty pounds; go down a pant size, no big deal. When you start dropping 40-50 pounds things change. The shoes you use to wear are now too large. You have to invest in a new wardrobe. Your face changes. Your body changes. Suddenly your skin is saggy. Along with all of your under garments. Let me tell you, that is not pleasant on either level.

Those fantastic weight loss shows don’t show how your daily showering routine changes. You’re suddenly using cotton balls and rubbing alcohol to clean the places the excess skin hangs. If that isn’t a sexy, appealing image for the fairy tale ending!

Your body has to relearn how to walk and move skinny. After years of being plus size, your body has adjusted to the extra weight. The same is true once you lose it. Your mind also has to adjust. You can suddenly fit into places you couldn’t before…and you have to remember this!

People also start looking at you differently, and treating you differently. Granted, this may have something to do with your growing confidence. I use to scoff at the idea that people treated you differently because of your size. It was finally driven home recently. I’m still having a hard time coming to terms with it. There is a big part of me that is angry at the injustice of it. Then…

I caught myself doing it. Walking to the break room at work – I noticed a plus size person filling a plate of food to the top. Before I could stop myself, the thought of, “Should they really be eating all of that?,” flew through my mind. I stopped midstride, and felt like a complete, and total as..terisk! It was as if everything I’ve been through didn’t matter. I was one of THOSE people. The judgmental, bullying, type of people who drive me nuts!

Through this journey I’ve learned many things about myself. I’ve learned I’m an emotional eater. No surprise there! What did surprise me though is I turn to food more when I’m sad than any other time. I also turn to it when I’m in pain. I’ve had to find new ways to handle those emotions. I’m still working on it, but at least now I know my triggers.

I’ve also learned I hate clothes shopping. I don’t care about fashion. I truly am a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal. My closet will never be filled with the latest and greatest fashion trends. I will always be years out of style. I’m okay with the basic black dress for the rare occasions that I wear one. I’m okay with a dressy shirt and comfortable dress pants when I need to dress business casual. Just don’t expect me to be fashion conscious. Clothes really are just another way we can judge people.

So, what have I really learned though it all? Hhhmmm… Well. No matter what we change on the outside. No matter how bad we may want the fairytale. The beauty, prince charming, the perfect body, the world! We’re always going to have the grandest thing of all – our individuality! We will always be uniquely ourselves. Our body will always be ours – not perfect, not always comfortable, not always what we picture, but ours. Beatifully, and uniquely ours. Once we realize that…the world is ours.

So…for today I wish your realizations that change your heart and your mind. Beauty that is solely yours, and a life created around your inspiration. Today is just a moment. Yesterday is just a second. Tomorrow is everything your make of it. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the best tomorrow ever!

Goodnight my friends!

Complex Ponderings

Life is complicated!

When I was a teenager, life wasn’t all that complicated. You got up, went to school, had a crush on the cutest boy in school (we had a few!), hung out with your friends, and tried not to do anything socially embarrassing. Simple! Granted, I wasn’t your normal teenager – I preferred a guy’s car to the guy himself. What can I say, cars are sexy! Especially Mustangs, GTO’s, Corvettes, old Chevys and Buicks, and….. the list gets longer the older I get.

Then, I became an adult. I’m not sure when it happened. It didn’t have anything to do with a specific birthday. I didn’t blow out the candles on my birthday cake and suddenly, “BANG!” become an adult. It would have been easier if it would have worked that way….I never would have blown out the candles!

Nope, I suddenly realized one day I’d became an adult. The sky got a little darker, and the world a little heavier. You don’t wake up one day and realize you’re an adult. You have it hit you like a ton of bricks. It is usually tied to a negative event in your life. Death, divorce, realizing your kids have grown up and no longer need you daily. It is overcast with a sadness.

Simple things don’t make you an adult – paying a bill over hitting the bar. Getting the oil changed instead of buying the new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing for weeks. These are not adult inspiring moments. You learn, at a young age, that money matters and bills come first.

Cleaning house instead of hanging out with friends – still not an adult inspiring. You have a choice; either clean the house or live in a pig sty. Personally, most of us would choose clean. We just wish someone else would do the work. That’s another thing, getting a job; still not adult inspiring. Many kids have jobs – clean their room, take out the trash, pick up their mess. It is part of life.

The adult realization moments come with a jolt. They come when your son is 18 and moves out of the house…and on his own…. and you suddenly realize you needed him more then he probably needed you. It happens when your favoritest uncle in the world passes away…and you realize all the things you loved about him are gone. There is no more furry beard and Harley motorcycle lover in your life. Not ones who triggers fond smiles and memories of laughter. The noise and wildness is gone. Others can try to duplicate it, but it will never be the same.

Being an adult isn’t about acting mature. That’s just part of growing up. Being an adult is about facing those events in your life that you try desperately to believe will never happen. You know they’re going to happen. You know you can’t stop them from happening. You just never want to believe they’ll happen to you. But they do happen….and when they do…when you are knee deep in the worst of it. That is when you are an adult.

Life is complicated! Only because we spend our lives trying to live up to our age ‘category.’ You’re either an infant, toddler, child, tween, teenager, young adult, adult, or elderly. Yet through it all…you never feel any older than a teenager. It is the moments which age you. The moments which define you.

I’m no longer an adult. I’ve decided I’m going to be a youngster who has adult moments. I’ll react as an adult in situations which require it. Outside of those situations though. I am going to live life in a manner which includes laughter. Lots, and lots, and lots of laughter! Life is far too short to be serious all the time.

So, for today, I wish you realizations steeped in an ever widening circle of silly. Where clowns scare no one, and silly noses inspire boughts of fitful laughter. And the dreams you had at 10, or 20, or 30, still guide you to be, and do, what you have always wanted to do. And the life you live is truly your own. Adult-ism be darned!

Goodnight my friends!

Okay so….who would like to hear me preach?

I’m betting the number isn’t very high. Nor, do I believe there are many people who know I could.

You know, you get ordained, you find a church, you start preaching, and praising, and … well, being what you’re meant to. Unless…you can’t picture yourself standing in front of people preaching ‘at’ them. That part just never made sense to me. I’d rather understand ‘with’ them.

I don’t think religion should ever be one sided. Nor do I believe it should be closed minded. It is probably why I struggle with it constantly!! I went to learn. To understand. To make sense of what didn’t make sense to me. The more I read, and learned, and researched…the less defined religion appealed to me.

People are not dumb sheep, which need to be lead. They’re smart. They question. They need something more than one person standing in front of them telling them,” This is the way it is, and only this way is right!!” Sheep, meet staff, not Shepherd.

People don’t go to church to be held hostage. In fact, most people don’t like to go to church.  (I am sooo going to get negative emails for that statement.) They simply go because other people will be there. It is either to keep up pretenses, or they have a message for, package for, note for someone who is going to be there. Very rarely will you hear someone say, honestly, that they learned something new from the sermon. Something, they can apply to life today. We are being honest here, right?

We’re so stuck in the past. On a book written by men, put together by council vote, and truly defined by one man who was afraid his teachers beliefs would be lost forever. We rarely consider what was really going on during the time the bible was piecemealed together. 

It was a time of seers, mystics, prophets, and magic. Yet, how many modern Christians would throw a fit if you even suggested such a thing? Most of them.

There is this delusion that the time of apostles, and Jesus, was a sacred time. Bad things didn’t happen. At least until Jesus was crucified. People use the book for guidance, but I can do the same thing with a deck of cards. Does that make the creator of the card deck god-like? Perhaps.

The one piece of the bible people constantly preach is you have to believe in Jesus to get to heaven. It is not what he preached though. Not if you truly read the words. It is our choices, and our actions, which get us there.

We have a lot to learn. It is why we are here. To learn. To help others. To show compassion. To be better than ourselves. We lose sight of that so very easily. We get so stuck in our own little worlds. Locked in our own “Poor me, life is so hard. Life hates me. Poor, Poor, me” lives. We forget…it is NOT about us. It is about others.

Maybe, that is what I have forgotten. Maybe I am supposed to preach, to lead. It is fear that keeps me from it. Fear of saying the wrong thing. Doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. The fear of being completely wrong. Failure. There is the name of my fear; pure failure. Yet, isn’t this where one should have the most faith?

Perhaps, the two things I need to learn right now consist of this: 1. Everything you do should be to help others, and 2. Faith is the first step.

My faith will never be in the Nicene Creed. It will, however, be in truth, honesty, perspective, and people. Tomorrow may lead me to exactly where I need to be. Today, I will do my best to work on the two things I need to learn.

So, for today, I wish you a place to gather and commune that brings you peace, joy, and true faith. I wish you the truth, and the drive to not just be sheep. The choice is always yours. Learn what you can about the choice you’re making. Faith will do the rest. And never doubt , one person can, and will make a difference.

Goodnight my friends.

Pretty Petty Pickings



                I’ve been thinking about this whole gay marriage thing. And seriously, who cares!? There are bigger issues in the world we should be concentrating on. Does allowing two men, or two women, to marry feed the hungry? No! Does it help care for the homeless? No! Does it prevent war, or educate our children? No! Then seriously, who cares?!?!

                We’ve become a civilization of persnickety bigots. We are so busy focusing on what our neighbor is doing. We forget what we should be doing. We’re tilting at windmills, when we should be caring for our country and fellow countrymen.

                Do I think two men, or two women, should be allowed to marry? I can’t think of a logical, valid reason they shouldn’t be allowed to. So, yes. To say no, is just petty. Petty, petty, PETTY! As for Christians and their, “God Says!!” God says, “Love they neighbor!” The bible teaches tolerance, love, acceptance, and respect.  Christians who use the bible to spread hatred, pain, and discontent have never truly read the bible.

                If they had read the bible they would have read Ezekial 16:48-49: “This is the sin of Sodom; she and her suburbs had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not help or encourage the poor and needy.” Jesus says nothing about same-sex behavior. The Jewish prophets are silent about homosexuality. Only six or seven of the Bible’s one million verses refer to same-sex behavior in any way – and none of those verses refer to homosexual orientation as it is understood today.

                And apparently, people forget the one main theme throughout the bible: Jesus helped everyone! He treated everyone as equals. Told his disciples “…and the least among you, shall be the greatest.” Yet…what do we do these days? We hold up movie stars, sports figures, the wealthy, etc. as the greatest. We tear down, ignore, torment, mistreat, hide from, and otherwise cause harm to the least of us.

                This world we live in frustrates me to no end. We’ve let pettiness and false righteousness over take our decision making. Let’s tear someone down, instead of raise them up. Let’s condemn them for their choices, because they aren’t ours. Let’s turn our backs on those in need, because it is easier to look away, or hide them away, then to expend the energy to extend a hand.

                We need to smack people upside the head until their hearts kick back in. We’re losing our humanity, and wasting time spreading hatred. This is not the world I want to live in. It is not the world I want my kids, my grandkids, growing up in!

                I’ll end my rant on this note. Don’t blindly follow. You are far too intelligent, and far to special, to just blindly follow. Let your heart rule your mind, and actions. And never forget..EVERYONE is fighting some battle.

                So, for today, I’ll wish you peace, understanding, love, and quiet realization. Our value is only as great as the value we place on our fellow man. When we stop loving him, we stop loving ourselves. We falter, fall, and never find a way back up. This life isn’t about what we can get out of it. It is about what we give.  Today. Tomorrow. Everyday.

Goodnight my friends!


Here is today’s dilemma – I’m tired!

 I’m tired of the news. I’m tired of the Newspaper. I’m tired of celebrities making fools of us. I’m tired of sports ‘heroes’ shirking their duties as heroes.  I’m tired of hearing about soldiers coming home and being treated worse here then they were in war. I’m tired of hearing about any animal being hurt or mistreated because someone put more value on the all mighty dollar then on life. I’m tired of hearing about the values we supposedly hold so dear being trampled in the dust. I’m tired of society sitting idly by while it all happens.

 We open our mouths to complain but, we remain firmly seated on our keesters. It is so easy to sit safely behind closed doors and point out what is wrong with the world.  We hold tightly to the crowd mentality; it is someone else’s job! Haven’t we noticed? The crowd is idle too!

 When will we learn! One person. One single, solitary person can and will make a difference. We just have to be brave enough to try. I’ll admit, right now, my bravery has run off with my common sense. I have my days where I stand by and watch. Where stepping forward and saying something, anything, scares me to death. But…while I may not be brave enough to take on the larger fights, I can still take on the smaller ones. I’ll work my way up to the larger ones as I gain confidence.

 We all have to start somewhere. Recently, though, I’ve been pulled in one direction – to minister. It is not what I want to do. It has never been what I’ve planned to do. I only ended up ordained because I have a never ending desire to learn – everything! Plus, I wanted to make an educated choice in the spiritual path I chose.

 I can’t see myself standing before people guiding them in their beliefs…..or maybe I can. I love to teach. Whether or not I’m good at it, is another question all together. I have more brains then common sense most days. But still…..

 When everything points to standing up, and passing on values you hold dear. Do you hesitate, or give in to what may be fate? Ah, fate. In many ways I’m a believer. Yet, I can’t fight the nagging feeling which says fate is an illusion; another way to justify our actions to ourselves.

 Perhaps that is the answer. Maybe…that is why sports ‘heroes’ no longer choose to be the heroes. They believe that it was fate which lead them to greatness and in greatness they cannot fall. The same could be said of celebrities. How sad such a thought is though.  

 It is only when we help the least of us that we become great. The man who spends time teaching children, or rescuing animals, or building houses for the homeless; he is truly great. The woman who feeds the hungry, clothes the unclothed, and reads to children of the homeless. She is greater than any president, or ball player, or movie star. They are the ones who will change the world in remarkable ways.

 For today, I wish you rest from the weariness of societies bad choices. I wish you encounters with people of true greatness. And I wish you heroes who will never fall because they know greatness cannot be counted in dollars and cents.

 Goodnight my friends!