Just to See You Smile

A few years back, I attended a one-on-one medium reading.  I had gone to a room reading by this wonderful medium and found it to be, for lack of a better term, right on the money.  So going to a one-on-one with her was a no-brainer.  And what I learned turned out, not only to be true, but something that I have worked on ever since that day last fall.  Because when you know better, you do better.

 

when you know better you do better

I was blessed to have three people come to me during both readings.  My dad, my mom, and my aunt.  I’m going to focus on the message that my aunt gave me during both readings.  During the first reading, the medium turned to me and said that she can no longer ignore the blinding light that was/is surrounding me.  She said that this light was so intense she could hardly look in my direction.  I found great comfort in knowing that so many of my loved ones who have passed on are with me each and every day.  How fortunate can one person be?!  In this conversation, she said that a woman comes forth, trying to get to me.  This woman is carrying flowers, purple, lilacs and asked if I knew who this was.  Of course, yes, I knew – it was my aunt.  This was Dennis’ mother.  Dennis is my first cousin, the son of this aunt who was trying to get to me.  Dennis is a mentally challenged adult who came to live with us after my uncle and aunt passed on.  You see, from the time that I can remember having cognizant thoughts, I  always knew that I was sent to take care of Dennis.  I didn’t know why – realize I’m just a child when this realization came to me – but I knew he would be with me when the time was right.  I always assumed my aunt knew this, too.  And during a conversation on afternoon at her kitchen table, right after my uncle had passed and she, too, was in ill health, she expressed a grave concern on what would happen to Dennis when she was gone.  I looked at her with complete surprise and said, “Well, of course, he’ll be with me.  You need not worry.  I am the one who will take care of him.”  She was shocked.  I was surprised.  How could she not know this?  She asked what did Tom and the kids think of this decision.  I expressed to her that I made it abundantly clear when Tom and I were married that Dennis would one day be with me for the rest of his life and explained this to each of my children when they became old enough to be aware.  She cried.  I’m still stunned that she didn’t know this.  And then realized that while I knew this all along, I had never verbalized this to anyone, really, except Tom.  Sarah and Dennis were my plus one and plus two if we were to be married.  Lesson learned:  always verbalize what’s going on inside your mind.  No one (well, except this medium that I’m sitting across from) can read your mind.  =).

But, I digress.  My aunt came to me to bring me these beautiful flowers, to kiss me, to hug me, to thank me for taking care of the only thing in her life that made it worthwhile while she was here on earth.  Her son, Dennis.  Of course, this spiraled me into nothing more than a blubbering idiot when the medium said something else that my aunt was trying to convey to me.  “This woman wants you to smile more.  You don’t smile like you used to and she loved your smile.  Find your smile.  Put it on.  She loves you.”  So, after melting into the chair that I was sitting in and finding my composure, I tucked these words away and bring them out almost on a daily basis.  My smile.  It is gone.  Because I had let the weight of the world rest on my shoulders and, in my thoughts, I could find no reason to smile.  Everything was weighing me down.  I had gone through a painful divorce, some of my children were unhappy (saying unfriendly would be a complete understatement), this relationship that I was in was so toxic that I really should have been followed around by a HazMat company.  And then, who knows how long later, it became crystal clear.  I was my own problem.  My finger-pointing at what was wrong with me was way, way out of line.  The only thing wrong with me, was me.  I needed to fix me before I could fix anything else.  So, I began.

The following year, I had a private meeting with this same medium.  And, again, my dad, my mom, and my aunt came through.  I don’t want to underplay what my parents had to say.  I could write a novel alone on their words.  But I will say that both took their hands with a wiping motion and kept saying toxic.  Bad.  Glad he’s gone.  I knew exactly what they meant.  The medium asked me who Tom was.  I said he was my ex-husband.  She insisted that we were married. I insisted we weren’t.  She said you may have divorced but you were always married and always will be.  Ironic how that turned out, too, wouldn’t you think?  Of course, with her reading, I laughed, I smiled, I cried, I smile even more.  And the medium looked at me and said, “The woman with the flowers.  Do you know a letter D? She keeps saying D.  She loves you.  She thanks you.  She loves seeing your smile again.”  Because when you know better, you do better.  I learned what a healthy relationship is.  I learned people can, in fact, change.  I learned that toxic is toxic, regardless of how it’s dressed.  I learned that love and comfort is nothing more than a thought away if you just open your heart, learn those life lessons, and go retrieve that smile that you lost, long, long ago.  It’s there.  Waiting for you.  Go find it.  I know I did.

 

Politics, As Usual

This election has been the most tumultuous, vicious, vile, and unnerving election in the history of my memory.  And that’s a ton of memory.  And I’m not talking about the nominees.  Or even the candidates that were running before the party nominations took place.  I’m talking about friends, family, and just people in general.

“Never discuss politics or religion,” my mother would drill into my head, probably from the time that I could talk.  I always assumed it was because we were Catholic.  You know, the “Holy Rollers,” the “Catlickers,” the “Bible Beaters.”  And she never wanted me to be involved in any sort of confrontation.  I’m sure she soon realized that I have plenty of mouth and which is also really ironic because I never met a confrontation that I would back down from.  Unless it was my own mother or someone who was just bat-shit crazy.  Er, I mean, didn’t really make any sense.  I mean, when your 8 years old and, during a Flyers home game, an Vancouver fan stands up to cheer his team and I stand up, turn, and tell him to, “shut up and sit down,” yeah, I have a bit of a backbone.

You see, I have no problem with someone who is passionate about their views.  Whether it be music, family, politics, religion, what have you.  I think everyone should have some sort of passion.  Something that really sets their soul on fire.  Kudos for you! However,  I have a real problem with people who are passionate about their views and ram it down somebody else’s throat.  You like pizza? Yay for you!  Don’t spend 20 minutes telling me how great your pizza is and how much the italian sub that I like stinks.  In no world is that a cool move.  In a verbal discussion, you can always smile, excuse yourself to get something to drink, and find another table to talk to.  Easy, peasy.  But when you’re trapped, that’s a whole new ballgame.  For whatever your reason, you cannot escape, you can’t walk away, and you can’t simply request to change the conversation topic without making the other person whine and act like a two-year-old child, then the misery is real and the requirement that it takes to keep your blood pressure under control is phenomenal.

But what bothers me the most is when the masks drop off, even during a political race, and you see people – even your friends – for what they truly are:  racist; bigoted; trash-talking, name-calling, bullies.  And how sad is that?  Nothing should ever come to the point where you can’t laugh – even at your own candidate – and just shrug off most of the stuff that you don’t agree with.  But when you impose your views, and you make them hateful, hurtful, and even belligerent – that’s where the line needs to be drawn.  A bully is a bully no matter their race, creed, or color.  This election has drawn out a boatload of the bullies from of the woodwork and what a shame that is because, now more than ever, we need to stand as a unified country, together no matter what, everything else be damned.

And when you are deleted by your own family on Facebook, ha ha, well, that just about says it all.    Because if you think waving the Confederate Flag is cool, then that’s a shame.  And if you think Obama’s coming to get your guns, well, that’s hysterical.  You probably think he’s part of the Muslim Brotherhood and has no legal Birth Certificate, too.  What a shame.  Ignorance isn’t bliss.  It simply shows your lack of informed education.  Go spew your rhetoric to your bully buddy friends.