Yesterday was Shayna’s third angel day.  It was rougher than I expected.  It was much rougher than I expected. The grief was as raw as it was that first week.  It took me by total surprise.  I was hoping it would be merely another day, a milestone I would wave at as I passed by.  It was not.  I’m not sure if it was all of the reminders by friends and neighbors.  Tywana and I had a couple of hundred contacts, no exaggeration. Friends pinged us on Facebook, by text, on Messenger.  It was incredibly gratifying knowing people were thinking of us, but the flip side was each message was a reminder that I was supposed to feel bad on this day.  We got a call from Elizabeth Boisson, co-founder of Helping Parents Heal who has become a dear friend. Shayna drops in on Suzanne Giesemann (again- of course). We got a text from her.  The contacts are literally too numerous to mention.

On my walk, I realized the day was going to be a lot more emotional than I had anticipated.  I had the same feeling I had had a couple of weeks after Shayna passed.  We were on a long weekend at Put-In-Bay. I got up early, prayed to Shayna for a sign, a specific sign, a dime and I took a walk. I can remember that walk like it was yesterday. And, I got the dime a couple of hours later (under the seat of a shuttle we were taking to the ferry).  I thought maybe Shayna could do it again. So, I prayed for a dime on my walk.  It’s a 7-mile walk. If there wasn’t a dime already on the road, she had an hour and a half to produce one. I scanned the ground as I walked.  I’ve found lots of change on the ground on this walk.  I fully expected to find a dime. Halfway through the walk, I spot the penny I’ve been seeing for a couple of weeks.  As I climb the porch steps back home, I expect to find a dime on the porch.  This is the last chance. There’s no dime though. Oh well.

While Tywana and I spent the day in the house together, I think each of us needed solitude. I didn’t see much of her. She did her thing- reading, meditating, whatever.  And, she had to run some errands for her mother.  I didn’t leave the house except for my walk and to take the dogs out.  Tywana floated the idea of going to church.  I was not up for shedding tears in front of a bunch of people, so I was relieved when I got home, and she said she was going for a bike ride instead.

I watched a lot of World Cup.  Between matches, I did some work for the church and for Helping Parents Heal. I was looking for anything to make the time pass. The day dragged on and on.  Two soccer matches were done.  I got my work for the church and Helping Parents Heal done. I turned on some more mindless TV to make the time pass.

Neither of us had planned dinner. We decided to go out for fast food Chinese.  Shayna’s friends call. They want to come over. They’ve been fantastic coming over on her angel dates and birthdays. Tywana decided to meet them for ice cream next week instead.

Finally, the sun went down.  The day was almost over. We turned on the BET Awards and watched for a while.  At 10:30 I announced I’m ready for bed.  I put in my effort. I really wanted to go to bed around 4 PM. I step out on the deck to take the dogs out for the final time of the night and I spot a praying mantis, on the post of the deck railing.  I don’t see many praying mantises. Coincidentally (or not), a few hours ago a friend has taken a picture of a praying mantis, very small- almost precisely the size of this one, on the back of her hand. She’s posted the photo to Facebook, and I commented about the time hundreds of them hatched from underneath our fire pit, and I was fascinated by watching these tiny captivating creatures.  Here is one on the deck, just a few hours later. Thank you, Shayna. I knew you wouldn’t forget my sign.

Usually, the Praying Mantis makes an appearance when we’ve flooded our lives with so much business, activity, or chaos that we can no longer hear the still small voice within us. Taking a step back and some simple meditation would be in order here because the external din we’ve created needs to be quieted so that we can come back to our own truth. She will always come to us when we need peace, quiet and calm in our lives.


Today it’s three years.  Three years since I last hugged Shayna, kissed her, or heard her sassy voice. Three years of living an unimaginable life.  Three years of change.  Three years of tears. Three years of growth. And, three years, closer to the day we are reunited without this veil.

I don’t have anything profound or particularly insightful to offer today. I’ve been looking forward to this day for months. Seeing it approach on the calendar, it’s a milestone I wanted behind me, not in front of me.

Yesterday, my brother and his wife drove down and spent a few hours with us. We played Top Golf and had dinner. As we turned into the neighborhood, I noticed someone had placed fresh purple ribbons on the stop signs at the intersections near our house. Shayna’s friends did that when she first passed and they continue to remember her angel dates. It’s amazingly comforting to know that the neighborhood still remembers.

This morning as I reach the bottom of the hill at the end of my cul-de-sac, I stop to take a picture of the ribbon on the sign nearest us. When I turn to walk away, the tears start to flow.  They’ve been flowing all morning.  As I’m finishing up my walk, I get a text from a neighbor saying they’re thinking of me today.  More tears come.  It’s not even noon and today I’ve cried, sobbed, more than I have in probably a year.  I’m not sure why. But, it’s OK. The sobbing continues during my meditation time.  I recall a study I heard about the chemical composition of tears. Tears have different chemical compositions depending on whether they are happy tears, tears from cutting an onion, tears of grief, etc.  I wonder about my tears. I’m overcome with gratitude. That’s brought some. I’m missing Shayna even though during meditation I felt her presence very strongly. As I meditate to Jai Jagdeesh “In Dreams”, I remember my dream from a couple of night ago and I feel the peace of being a child, taken care of.  I sense my guides are right here, but in the background, as we agreed it would be.  The turmoil still swirls around me, but as I sit here on the mat, and I go in, I reach that place of still peace inside and I am grateful.  More sobs.

Shayna only spent 15-1/2 years in the body on this planet.  Today marks nearly a third of that time.  Three years after she transcended our world, her impact is still being felt. The ripples are still going out.  I say with confidence as long as I am here, she will never be gone, never be forgotten. And I say thank you to all who continue to remember her, Kayla, Tywana and me.

When Brenda was making her transition, they played this song.  My friend Lynette introduced me to the artist.  I meditate to her music often. Most of the songs aren’t in English so they keep my brain engaged without introducing thoughts. I leave you with this.  Do this for yourself.  Take 8 minutes, close your eyes and take this in.

It’s been another rough week. People say “finally Friday”, but when you own your own business, and it’s struggling, the 5 o’clock whistle on Friday doesn’t bring any real relief. I usually sleep very well. This week I’ve been waking up around 5 AM ready to go. Let’s try something else. Nothing I try bears any fruit. Every time it seems there is an opportunity either it doesn’t pan out, or the partner I’m supposed to work with goes away. I have a session with my intuition/mediumship tutor today. These people keep telling me happy days are around the corner. The lessons I’m taking say life is supposed to flow. I’m not up for trying to tap into Spirit today. I’m exhausted and frustrated.  She reads me and tells me I’m flooded with ideas and running in all directions at once which is spot on accurate. I don’t know which way to go. She tells me that we have to trust the flow, that Spirit will take care of us. We have to trust the process. I assent to all of this. OK. I’ll try.  I take this with me through the rest of the day.

Just as I’m calling it a day and trying to unwind, I get an email from my development team.  Of course, 4:30 on a Friday and there’s a problem with the integration of our email and our store.  The email vendor’s technical support isn’t answering. I’m checking the dashboard trying to get a fix, and I see our numbers for the last month. I try not to look at the numbers. I keep my head down and keep pressing on. The last 30 days haven’t gotten any better despite massive efforts, bringing on new partners, and infusions of cash. This is not what I wanted to be thinking about going into the weekend. They say when one door, another one opens. However, sometimes you’re in the hallway, and all the other doors are still closed. I’m tired of living in the hallway. It’s hell in the hallway. Come on guides. How much more patience do I have to learn?  I’ve got to work tomorrow.  It’s Saturday and I’ve got company coming in from out of town. I can get in a few hours in the morning though. At least I need to bang out some emails.

Tonight, we’re going out with friends to the big Greek festival.  It’s been raining or threatening rain almost all day.  It’s a decent drive to get there. I do not want to go. It’s probably going to rain.  I know it’s going to rain.  Why bother? I’m in a foul mood, the nastiest. I really just want to be alone. I should be alone because I’m not fit to be around people. But, there’s no getting out of this. They all want to go, and we’re traveling to get there.  I’ll probably have a panic attack I’m thinking.  There will be a big crowd. I’m not driving. I can’t leave when I want. I don’t want to go to the festival. I don’t want to be anywhere. I want to go Home. I am done.

A friend made a very simple post on Facebook. She’s going through a hard time.  Many of us are.  Her post was simple. “I. Am. So. Fucking. Tired.”  I replied with two words. “I understand”.  This place is hard, and some of us feel a weariness that cannot be overcome with mere sleep.  I’ve heard it said that our souls don’t need to sleep. But, I’ve also heard it said they do need to escape this world. We’d go insane if we couldn’t sleep. That is a medical fact.  I think our souls need that time back Home every night.

As we’re making the drive to the festival, the other people in the car are just chatting away. Everything they say irritates me. I reflect on this. I can’t snap at them based on what’s going on in my head. They’re saying the same things they always say, laughing, having a good time, looking forward to a night out. This is all on me. I’m not even in the car. I’m somewhere else, living in the future, under a bridge.  I’ve got to snap out of this.

We get to the festival and meet up with the other carload of people. The clouds have broken, the sun is peeking through.  The weather is pleasant. I guess the threat of rain has kept people away. It’s a massive festival, but it’s not super crowded. However, because whenever you have eight people going anywhere, we’re over an hour past my normal dinner time and I’m hangry.  As we park blocks away to save money, make our way through the crowds to check in, stop to go to the bathroom (Didn’t we just leave home?) I’m trying to be patient. OK. So, now they’ve gone to the bathroom. We’ve hit the ATM. We’ve made the walk. Someone asks “Do you want to look around some or do you want to eat?”  I say, as patiently as I can muster. “I’m ready to eat.”

I get a gyro. It’s delicious, stuffed with the most lamb I’ve ever had on a gyro. They sell bottles of wine at the festival. I get a nice dry Greek red. I’ve never had this before. I’m starting to enjoy myself when the conversation turns to the healthcare system in America, and I start to think about what we’re paying for health insurance.  And…, in my mind,  I’m right back to being homeless living under a bridge.  The wine kicks in and I start to relax. We do some Greek dancing, the others get desserts, and the next thing I know we’ve been there for almost four hours and it’s time to go home. I’ve had a great time.

I fall asleep and in my dream, I’m sitting at my desk, like I am right now. It’s dark in my office, like it is right now.  It’s overcast, like it is right now.  I’ve been pounding away at this keyboard trying to make things work, like I do all day every day. The doorbell rings. Someone I am supposed to meet is here. I don’t want to get up from the computer because I need to get shit done, but I’ve got to answer. It’s someone I haven’t met before. I open the door, and he steps in from the rain. I can’t see him because I’ve been in the dark and my eyes aren’t adjusted to even the little bit of light outside. I’m talking to him, introducing myself, telling him in that in addition to what we’re meeting about, I work on Treasured Locks. I am an entrepreneur with my own business, and it’s really been struggling, and I’m frustrated.  Suddenly, I can see him.  He’s a big man, at least 6′ 6″.  He’s probably about my age. He’s got dreads.  He has this huge smile on my face.  When I can finally see him, he’s about three or four feet away from me.  He takes a giant step, and he’s right up in my personal space. Why is this man I’ve never met so close to me? Then, he wraps me in a huge bear hug making me feel like a small child wrapped in his mother’s arms, and he says “I’m right there with you.”.  And I wake up still feeling that hug.

I’m taking a course on manifesting the life I want.  I’m on day 5 of a 10-day session. I’m working on gratitude because that’s a big part of this manifesting thing. This is all so foreign to me, but I’m doing it.

Today, I wake up thinking about a problem I’ve been trying to find a solution to for a couple of days. I’ve gone down several paths; all are dead ends.  I work a couple of other avenues and the second one pays off. Someone gets back to me. I get an email with the solution. Yippee!

I go out to the pet store to get another ball for Stevie.  This is attempt number three in the search for a ball that won’t drive me nuts. She likes to push them under the couch and then cry until I get them out.  At the store, I ask for the Chuck-It ball, and the lone guy at the cash register directs me right to them.  I saw the Chuck-It ball on Amazon. It seems like it’ll work. As I walk down the aisle, another ball catches my eye.  There are dozens of balls to choose from. I’m not great with so many choices, since I have to make the perfect one. Up and down the aisle I go. Do I want a squeaker? No.  Do I want a hard ball?  It cannot fit under the couch! 15 minutes later I pick up that first ball, and I head towards the cash register to check out.  When I hand the ball to him to scan, he says “This isn’t a Chuck-It ball.” Yep, I know. He asks me if I’m a Pet Perks member. I say “It’s OK.” I just want to get the ball and get out. I’m a man on a mission, and I have another stop to make. It’s been a very hectic couple of weeks.  I need to get back home and get some work done. He scans the ball. It rings up at $5.95, including tax. I hand him $6.00.  I never use cash.  But, I’ve got $6.00 in my wallet. Just give me my nickel, and I’ll be on my way.  Instead of handing my change back to me, he pulls out his phone.  I think it must be something for work. But, it didn’t ring or buzz. How rude!  Can’t this wait? I’m the only one in line. Then, he starts to touch the screen, over and over.  Is he texting?  He doesn’t say anything to me. After a minute or two, he punches some keys on the cash register then asks “Do you have a dollar?”  I’m wondering why he needs another dollar.  I gave him $6.00 did I miscount? I look at the screen on the cash register and see he has deducted $4.40. The price is now $1.27 including tax. He finally explains. PetSmart price matches; who has the ball for $1.19. He was looking up their price. Score! I don’t know what prompted him to do this, but I’ll take it. I thank him and leave.  It’s excellent when strangers do beautiful things for you just out of the blue.

My next stop is Aldi’s. I need to pick up one item.  It’s Wednesday around three thirty in the afternoon. It shouldn’t be crowded. I’m a man on a mission.  I want to pick up the butterflied boneless leg of lamb and get home before rush hour in West Chester happens.  I find the packages of lamb. More choices. I pick the one I want. Now, it’s another decision point then. Which line will move faster? The lines, two of them, are tremendously long. One woman has about 85 items. She’s currently checking out.  The other line has several people with fewer items. I choose the one with more people and fewer items. As I’m standing there, a woman in the other line looks at me and asks if I have just this one item. I answer in the affirmative. She says “You can go in front of me. Oh, really?  OK. Then she realizes, she better check with the woman behind her.  That woman smiles at me and says it OK. I step in front of the woman who gave me the invitation. Then, the woman remaining between me and the check out guy says “You can go in front of me.”  I step right up to the register, and I’m out of there in no time.

Mission accomplished.  Saved about 80% on that overprice ball for Stevie.  And, the leg of lamb I found was already seasoned, so it’s ready to cook for tonight’s dinner.  Best of all, four people were just kind to me out of the blue.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”

I do love compliments, yet I’m often embarrassed to say what I think to the person when I get a compliment. I so often feel that they have not gone far enough.- Mark Twain

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full” – Jesus

This post has been percolating in my head for a while, and I’m still not sure where I’m going with it. I know these three quotes play into it somehow.  So, I’ll just write and see where it goes.

In the three years since Shayna has passed, I’ve become even more of a stranger in a strange land. I’ve always been the black sheep.  I’ve always been the one that’s a little odd. I’ve been on this spiritual path, in one way or another, since the time I can remember, since I first had language.  When I was first told that I was born in original sin and that God hated me for being what I was, the struggle began to find out who I really am, what the hell I did wrong to end up here, and why I am here. I always felt out of place. I didn’t broadcast it, but as I look back, I did, in a way. This is my third website dedicated to reaching out to share my journey with others. The first two were dedicated to the Christian experience. The first was trying to convince people that Christianity was true. The second was trying to convince people that God loves and will “save” everyone. And, this one, not trying to convince anyone of anything.

As I’m listening to a series on how to use the law of attraction to bring what I want into my life, I’m instructed to write four personal affirmations.  I write them, in pen, in a journal without a filter, without thinking about them. The last of the four that comes to me is that I am putting into action what my entire time existing on this planet has been preparing me to do.

In my experience with Helping Parents Heal having met hundreds if not thousands of parents by now, one thing I’ve observed is many of us seemed to be the black sheep of the families even before our kids transitioned.  I think, on a deep level, we were being prepared for this mission.  And, now, we Shining Light Parents are being gathered together to do the work we came here to do.

How does this relate to the quotes above? The loneliness has intensified in a sense, especially among my relatives and in my own home. While my family has always found me a bit odd, I’m sure they find me even odder now. We have Shayna’s passing in common, but our experience of this singular event is so very different.  How we process it, how we talk about it, how we think about it couldn’t be more different.  I have been on a couple of podcasts, an internet radio program, a YouTube show twice, and I blog almost daily. I’ve been published in a magazine twice.  As far as I know, my mother is the only one in my birth family to have ever watched, listened, or read any of this.  Shayna was featured in a presentation by a nationally famous author and public speaker.  I proudly emailed a link to the performance to my entire family. Only my mother bothered to watch the presentation (after much prompting). I am on staff with The SoulPhone, Greater Reality Living, and am an affiliate leader with Helping Parents Heal running a group of 3,333 people (as of Monday) and no one in my family has ever asked a single question about any of it.  Going to my hometown is hard. Both my brothers and my sister live in the same city as my parents. They do many things without me. I don’t live there. That’s OK.  But, they plan events for times I can’t make it and invite me knowing I can’t come. They know I often won’t come. So, there is justification for that. It’s awkward being with them. And, that’s OK.

What do I want? Do I want people to compliment me for what I do? I certainly don’t do it for the money. Someone thanked me a few days ago. Frankly, people thank me all the time.  But, she said, “I know you don’t want the thanks.”  Uh, excuse me?  Oh yes, I do.  I love the thanks.  I hope that doesn’t mean I don’t get my reward later on Jesus. (j/k). I don’t do it for the thanks. But, I’ll certainly take it.

As this post was bouncing around in my head, I thought of Pop. My grandfather comes through often in my medium readings, to my total surprise at first. Pop was a pastor. He was Apostolic (Pentecostal). My spiritual path for many years could not have seemed more different than Pop’s.  While I was always somewhat attracted to the clergy, I could never accept the theology that would allow me to be a pastor. But, Pop came through in my first reading and said I was on the right path.  He came through just a few weeks ago and said he is proud of what I’m doing. And, the new revelation that came to me this week is he was raised Methodist.  Both of his parents were Methodist ministers. I wonder what they thought when he left his church to become a Pentecostal.  Did he feel estranged?

I’ll close with another anecdote from Jesus’ life.  But, before I do I must say this.  No, I’m not a prophet. And, I certainly don’t think I’m a messiah. It’s just that, even though I’m no longer Christian, the Bible still holds a lot of wisdom that is brought back to me by my guides/angels/whatever.

In Matthew 12, the disciples are telling Jesus that his mothers and brother were waiting for Him outside. We can only assume they expected Him to leave what He was doing and to go to His birth family.

He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

I may not get the honor I would like in my own home.  But I have no shortage of brothers and sisters.


It’s Father’s Day.  This is the third Father’s Day without Shayna.  Her angel date is just a few days from now, precisely one week.  Our last Father’s Day together, we had steak. If I remember correctly, Kayla wasn’t here.  Little did I know that would be my last one with her.  Kayla was home last week, and we celebrated then.  We had steak and shrimp. Since I couldn’t think of anything better and I don’t want to go out for dinner, Tywana and I will repeat the menu today.

I remember my first Father’s Day with Kayla. It’s archived on video somewhere. I loved every single Father’s Day with them, and every single day that wasn’t Father’s Day. What’s Father’s Day when your babies have left the nest though?  This week my nephew Matthew stayed with us for four days.  It was great having a kid in the house again. He might object to being called a kid given that he’s 20.  But, since Shell’s three boys are like the sons I never had, he’ll always be a kid to me.  I didn’t want sons. I wanted two girls. I got two girls. So, they are my surrogate sons. We stayed up late watching movies, did some manly shopping together, ate waffles, and watched a lot of episodes of Elementary (the modern day Sherlocks Holmes TV series).  I taught him how to appreciate sipping bourbon.  He taught me about vaping. I got to play Dad for four days. It was awesome.

Tywana and I are doing mediumship training together with a friend of ours.  On Friday we had a session with her.  Surprisingly, she had us connect with a departed friend of hers and, after having her correct me on the gender, I was able to get the person’s age (late 20s), hair color, hair length, eye color, and personality.  I got the way he dressed and the fact that he was a smoker.  I saw him in a bar. He would often meet our tutor in a bar.  I saw a leather jacket.  He wore a leather jacket. Oddly, I still feel like I can’t do this mediumship thing. But, that was pretty amazing. My point for this blog is she had us bring Shayna through so we could know we can connect with her.  All three of us saw Shayna wearing the same thing, and we got the same message for us, validating that this was Shayna with us.  And since Tywana and I had just connected with our tutor’s friend, I guess the message was real, even though it’s the same message we usually get from her.  She is very proud of what we’ve done in the last three years, and she is still with us and supporting us.  It was a great visit with her.  I say visit even though I know she’s with me all the time. She’s right here, right now.

Today, I’m not sad. In spite of the fact the girls don’t need me the way they used to, I will choose gratitude.  Maybe there’s just a hint of melancholy.  I didn’t sleep well last night. There were too many worries running around in my head.  Today, I celebrate having survived three Father’s Days that I never thought I’d get through. I will remember the good times when my girls were here, and I will be grateful for them. Being a father was the most important thing in the world to me. It’s not a privilege I took for granted.  I will watch a little World Cup soccer and the U.S. Open even though Tiger’s days of making the cut are over, at least for now.  Ah, the glory days…

To all the Dad’s whose kids aren’t here physically anymore, I hope you have a day to reflect on the awesome joy we had, and have, of being fathers to these kids and feel the same gratitude I do that they chose us to teach and to love. I’m going to go on my walk now and have a talk with Shayna.


Why be afraid if I’m not alone
Though life is never easy the rest is unknown
Up to now for me it’s been hands against stone
Spent each and every moment
Searching for what to believe

Coming out of the dark, I finally see the light now
It’s shining on me
Coming out of the dark I know the love that saved me
You’re sharing with me

Starting again is part of the plan
And I’ll be so much stronger holding your hand
Step by step I’ll make it through I know I can
It may not make it easier but I have felt you
Near all the way

Coming out of the dark, I finally see the light now
And it’s shining on me (I see the light, I see the light)
See the light (I see the light)
Coming out of the dark I know the love that saved me
You’re sharing with me

Slowly, imperceptibly, I’ve seen the light coming. Like the sun at sunrise, it’s not a moment, it’s more of a process. Today is my third birthday since Shayna passed.  In just one month it’ll be three years.Somewhere along the way the darkness that seemed impenetrable and permanent has started to subside. My mood has started to shift. Today, I will spend a good part of the day in solitude. It’s graduation time. It’s Memorial Day weekend. Tywana is going to Lexington for her cousin Mike’s funeral. Today is Brianna’s graduation. Brianna is Shayna’s twin born from another mother (technically cousin), born four months after Shayna, the two of them were inseparable.This would be Shayna’s graduation year. My birth family will be at her graduation in Columbus. I’ll spend the day reflecting on the journey over the last 57 years.There was a time when being alone would have been depressing, but this is my choice; as is all of this. So, I’ll embrace it.

As I see the dark lifting and the light approaching to what can I attribute this? Is it the old adage “Time heals all wounds.”? Certainly not.Time alone heals nothing. I think it’s the hard work I’ve put in and continue to put in.It’s the realization that Shayna has never left me. I feel her with me more and more. She’s been giving me this message to write for the last several days. She’s right over my shoulder as I type this and the tears flow while I listen to Gloria Estefan sing “Coming Out Of The Dark”.  I hear her cheering me on. I get her signs. She comes to me in dreams. She sends messages to me through mediums. Knowing she is still with me makes it bearable. I have felt her near all the way. It’s the knowing that this is all temporary. It’s an illusion. Where it counts we are still together. I have internalized this message. I study it.I meditate on it, daily.

Is it over? Has the grief passed? No. It’s a daily struggle. Jesus said “Take up your cross daily and follow me.”Daily. I wake up and the human part of me longs for comfort, longs for security, longs for the life I once had. The human part of me just wants to go Home. Anxiety still grips me.Depression still makes a guest appearance. But, I have to rise above that and look at it from my soul’s perspective which says it’s all going according to plan. I look at Shayna’s picture every morning as I come down the stairs, look at that sweet cheek, that beautiful smile, and I long for the day when I can kiss her cheeks again and hug her.But, I know that day is coming and I celebrate as I pass each milestone. I make my way down the stairs, lace up my shoes and set out.

Today is another milestone. I celebrate it. I’ve made it. No matter what happens from here on out, I have made it. I hereby declare victory. I take a moment to pat myself on my back. The dawn is breaking. Many of us Shining Light Parents dread these days, birthdays, Christmases, Thanksgivings. Not me. I look at it this way. I’m running a marathon and these days are mile markers. When you’re running a race and you pass a mile marker do you mourn the miles that are behind you? No. You say “Only a few more miles to go. One step at time.” And you keep moving. And, you know that you will cross that line and then you’ll party. Happy Birthday to me. 57 trips around the sun accomplished. I wonder what year 58 has in store.

My prescriptions are running out so I have to go to the doctor.  I detest going to the doctor.  The idea of going in to be checked out to look for things that are wrong when you feel fine seems counter-productive to me.  I dropped the statin a few years ago because the science of statins is shaky at best and because without taking them I didn’t need that stupid doctor’s office visit every six months. What a waste of time. I take blood pressure medication largely because I have white-coat hypertension. Doctors make me nervous. So, while I’m there, my blood pressure is high.  So, they put me on medication.  When I’m relaxed my blood pressure is normal, as I proved to myself a few years ago when the doctor put me on Lorezapam and my blood pressure readings were spot on normal.  But, I take the medication anyway.

The new doctor walks in.  How old is she, 12?  I don’t like seeing a doctor younger than I am.  This is a first. She starts out asking me if I want this to be a visit or a physical. Huh?  What do I care? I say “I just want my prescriptions refilled.” She tells me I’m due for blood work, so we should make this a physical for insurance purposes.  Whatever.  It would have been nice to know that ahead of time so I could have gotten that done.  Then, she starts telling me all the things they want to test for- Hep C, HIV, kidney and liver (because I’m on the medications).  Anything that is optional I pass on.

Then, it’s onto asking about my complaints.  “Once a year we have to ask if you have any symptoms of depression.”.  Yep, I do I tell her. She gives me a stare.  “My daughter passed away three years ago. That’s kind of depressing.”  She replies “Well, grief is expected for a year after a death. Anything past that is probably something more.”  (OK grief expert).  So, I reply “It’s more anxiety than depression.  Can you give me something to help with occasional anxiety?”  She tells me all the short acting anxiety medications are controlled and it would be a real hassle to give them to me. I’d probably become dependent on them and that’s not good.  I inform her the last time I got a prescription was three years ago.  It was 60 pills, a 30 day supply.  I still have most of them.  In fact, I haven’t taken any in three years.  But, she knows best.  No pills for you. So, I’m thinking. That was a productive conversation. Why did you bother asking?

We go through the list.  Trouble sleeping?  Aches and pains? Bladder- too active, not active enough? Do you drink too much?  She pokes my belly, looks in my ears, taps my knees (reflexes) and I’m out of there. She says she’d like to see me again in six months.  I’m thinking “I’ll only see you again when I have to, lady.” and I’m out the door back to freedom.  The only good thing is she was on time and I’m out the door 45 minutes after my appointment time.  Unheard of in today’s medical industry.

Last week I wrote about Shayna’s graduation day. Since I don’t get to have a high school graduation day, I took the day that Suzanne Giesemann featured Shayna in her keynote as her graduation day.  I know that Shayna is still a big, big force in this world doing more than she could have while in the body. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t miss having her in the body.

Today is Lakota West’s academic awards ceremony.  It’s the day we present the scholarship set up in Shayna’s name to a deserving senior student.  This will be the third presentation.  I attended the first.  I skipped last year.  My niece, Shayna’s twin from another mother, is going to help present the award this year. So, it’s turned into a family affair.  Her mother, my mother, my father, and possibly my brother are all coming for the presentation.  For some reason, they assumed I’d be there.

Here’s the thing. While I accept that Shayna is doing great things, in all honesty and full disclosure, it’s still like a consolation prize.  Awards nights and parent teacher conferences were always like Christmas with the girls. I looked forward to them.  Hearing teachers brag about how smart, considerate, and compassionate our girls were made my day. Shayna’s first and only awards night in that gym, she got all kinds of honors including being named as #16 in her class of about 600.  Shayna was good friends with #15 and told her she was coming after her. Being in the gym the following year thinking about where Shayna would be, what she would be getting was something I really did not look forward to doing again. I’m happy for your kids. But, hey, I’d like my kid here too. So, you just go ahead and celebrate without me.

It’s 7:30 AM.  Between now and this evening I have to make a choice.  Do I go to the ceremony for the family or do I stay here for me?  I’d like to get to the point where there is no jealousy about other kids’ accomplishments but 1,035 days isn’t that point, for me, yet.

I linger in the doorway
Of alarm clock screaming monsters calling my name
Let me stay
Where the wind will whisper to me
Where the raindrops as they’re falling tell a story

In my field of paper flowers
And candy clouds of lullaby
I lie inside myself for hours
And watch my purple sky fly over me

Don’t say I’m out of touch
With this rampant chaos, your reality
I know well what lies beyond my sleeping refuge
The nightmare I built my own world to escape- Evanescence- Imaginary

Today I feel exhausted.  Four situations in my life have me stressed, three  have me worried, two have me fearful. In one of the groups I’m in a mother who has lost a child says it’s one of those days when she just wants to give up.  She’s not suicidal, just wishes she didn’t have to deal with this anymore.  Tonight, in the group I’m in we’re talking about letting go of control of life and accepting what is. Someone says “Well, I’m sure those of in this room don’t have trouble with this anymore.  Let’s try to recall what that felt like.”  I say “Hold on there, missy.  Let’s not assume we’re all past that, maybe for some of us it’s not a matter of remembering.”  (paraphrasing here).

The idea that everything is in divine order is a new concept to me. I keep coming across it and I want so badly to believe it.  It’s easy to believe when things are going well.  It’s difficult to believe when things are challenging. I’m trying to accept it. I’m working on my analogies.  Life is like a tapestry and when we’re in it, we’re looking at the backside. It’s a mess of threads all mixed up and seemingly forming no pattern, but when we turn it over, we see the beauty that’s been there all along (this is my favorite).

We get home and Tywana and I watch a little TV while I piddle around on Facebook. I see there is a message on our Facebook page from a customer.  The message is simply “The website isn’t working.”  That’s all I need to trigger the fear.  Orders were slow over the weekend and practically non-existent today.  I had to resist the temptation to call my marketing people and my developers who are in the process of fixing the known problems and say “When are you going to get this done?”.  I start thinking “What’s wrong now?  What can I do?  It’s 10 o’clock at night. What if this can’t be fixed?  How will we live?”   All of those things come flooding in just over an hour after we left our meeting on how to live without all these fears and worries.  I jump on the website and submit a test order.  It goes through fine. There’s nothing I can do right now. So, i say to myself, “Let it go.  We’ll see what it’s like in the morning.” and I head off to bed.

The good news is I can usually set this all down and sleep.  I am pretty good at assessing what can be done about each situation right now, in this moment.  If the answer is nothing, I set it aside and say I’ll pick it up when I can do something.  I close my eyes and feel the darkness around me, comforting me. I feel the comfort of the sheets against my skin and I being to drift.  I’ve come to be aware of that moment between being awake and being asleep that the burdens fall away.  As I go down (or up) through various states of consciousness,  I feel at peace, I have no worries, no concerns, no fears.  I feel at Home. This is usually the moment when Tywana nudges me and says “Brian, you’re snoring.” and I reply “I’m not even asleep.”  Tonight, I get the nudge from her. I don’t reply.  I just roll over and reset, trying to get back to that place.  I like to hang out there.  I get impressions I can’t even put into words, but they bring peace.  In spite of my best efforts though, they’re fleeing moments, caught out of the corner of my eye.  I cannot explain, you would not understand.  This is not how I am. Then, I am asleep.  If I’m lucky, I’ll hit that state again in the morning on the way back to this world where I pick up the problems again and see what I can do about each of them.

The song lyrics are from Evanscence’s “Imaginary” which I wasn’t thinking about when I composed this blog, but it came up on my walk this morning and the lyrics perfectly reflected that feeling I have about sleep. Sleep, I think brings me closer to Home, an escape from this “reality”.  More and more, I think this is the imaginary world though.

p.s.- after my walk, I tackle the problem that caused our store to not get any orders.  It was an easy fix. We’re back in business.