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Year Three, Day 281: Remothering

My heart is still aching.  I am reading about Nikolas Cruz. There is no question about his guilt.  It is a matter of life in prison or the death penalty.

He has been broken since childhood.  His life was an open plea for help.  Hurting animals, loner behavior, cutting himself, acquiring guns and ammo, posting on social media about his intentions to shoot up a school.

But apparently no one responded. He was like a voice crying in the wilderness.

I am wondering if he is indeed remorseful. I am wondering if now he will finally get help, if indeed they give him life in prison.

Our society bears the guilt for this.  No, we did not pull the trigger, but we failed him.

I saw an article which connects kids who grow up without a good father figure in their lives to men who commit violent acts.

Yet another strike against him.

I saw my son today. He grew up without his father.  My heart has ached for him since he was young.  He has a sweet spirit. But he has struggled.  Today I bought him a phon…
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Year Three, Day 280: Healing the Wounded

It is late Friday night. Baby Gracie is sleeping soundly in her crib. Honey Dog is curled up in her doggie bed. My daughter and her husband have gone to bed.

I am sitting in a recliner listening to the rain bounce off the roof of the trailer. It seems to fit perfectly with the saxophone lullaby DVD that Gracie listens to at bedtime.

Usually I feel comforted by the rain. But tonight I am feeling restless. There is a forecast of possible snow tomorrow. And low temperatures in the 20's through Tuesday evening.

I am still processing this latest shooting. My daughter told me not to dwell on it; not to let the darkness consume me.

It has partially consumed me. I ache, not only for the victims, but for the shooter. It seems to me he was crying for help. But no one responded. And now it is too late. How many people feel isolated, lonely and misunderstood. People that are outcasts and misfits? Thankfully most of them do not resort to violence. But is it possible to reach them? To make them…

Year Three, Day 279: A Good Exhale

Today was a better day than yesterday. It was a day of comfort. I let go of all anxiety. I revisited the rituals that I have developed that are soothing to my soul. Very simple things. To keep me in the present moment.

I slept in. It was my day off of Baby Gracie duty.

I allowed myself the luxury of staying in bed, getting caught up on the news.

Of course there was more about the shooting; the victims, and the shooter. But I felt the need to know. It gives my prayers substance. As I declined in my pajamas, I took out my knitting. I had forgotten how calming knitting is.

I inhaled.

I exhaled. I can't remember the last time I had a good exhale.

I did a load of laundry. I made a few phone calls. I hooped.

Then I took myself out for lunch before an afternoon of teaching piano.

I got to work early. I noticed a difference in my students today. I noticed they all seemed more subdued. Perhaps even vulnerable. And more focused and interested in their lessons. Had they heard about the shoot…

Year Three, Day 278: Dark Times

Today is a low day.

My heart is aching for the victims of yesterday's shooting in Florida.  My mind is reeling from all the opinions being plastered all over social media. Debates about gun control, more help for the mentally ill, more work done to prevent bullying, more accountability from the community to report those displaying suspicious behavior...

But in Parkland, Florida, there are grieving families and friends of the 17 people gunned down. I cannot imagine their pain.

One positive note is that the shooter was arrested. Alive. 

Most of the shooters in recent history either killed themselves, or were shot by the police.

Perhaps understanding his motives, his mindset, his life, family and friends will shed some light on how to prevent further tragedies.

I know, I know: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Indeed.

But the continued slaughter of innocent life is incomprehensible.

I could go on and on. I have before. As many of you have.

I wish I could ju…

Year Three, Day 277: Hitting the Floor Running

I left home at 6:20 a.m. this morning. I do better if I hit the floor running in the morning.

I was particularly happy to discover an espresso stand at the Gateway Transit Center.

I am cutting back on Lyft rides over the 205 bridge to Vancouver. Most broke am I!

I can make the trip by Max and bus if I wake up and get myself out the door in a timely manner. And the C-Tran bus in Vancouver accepts Trimet bus passes.
Aside from money saved, my attitude is better if I get moving first thing in the morning.
I spent the morning with Grace while her mom went to work meetings. Then we went out for lunch and did a bit of laundry.

I am still experiencing crippling fatigue. Perhaps a bit less today, but still - most tired am I!
As we were bringing our cart full of dirty clothes into the laundromat, I greeted the attendant, who is normally very friendly, always coming over and visiting with Baby Gracie.
But today, she barely mumbled a hello. Her eyes were glued on the bug screen television on the…

Year Three, Day 276: My Heart

I almost passed out running for the Max this morning. The bus pulled up to the station.  I told myself that Samurai do not take elevators as I trudged towards the stairs.

I should have taken the elevator.  Halfway up, my chest tightened and I became short of breath. Then I noticed the Max was about to depart. I needed to make it to the Parkrose Transit Center to catch my bus to Vancouver so I could help my daughter.

So I speed walked to the Max, clutching my heart. I made it on time. I slumped down in the seat and dug in my purse for my inhaler. After a few moments, my breath returned.

Luckily today was my free coffee day at Starbucks. I figured a Venti Blonde Almond Vanilla Latte with only one pump of sweetener would get the lead out.

It didn't. I feel like I could lose consciousness at any moment.

I know. Most dramatic am I!

My daughter took one look at me and sternly ordered me to make a doctor's appointment. She told me to highlight my fatigue, shortness of breath, lighthe…

Year Three, Day 275: Zzzzzita

I saw a coyote Friday night.  I walked home late in the evening.  I had taught piano classes and then stopped at my favorite little Mexican restaurant.  Friday's special is fish tacos, rice, beans and a drink for $6. 

I usually linger, reading and people watching until after about 8:00 p.m.

This leaves me walking 3/4 miles home about 9:30 p.m.  On a road with no sidewalks, very little street light. And no bus service after about 6:30 p.m. I usually walk on the side of the road, in the bike lane. I listen to Clyde Lewis on my radio. And I pray that no one swerves off the road and sends me to meet my maker before I'm good and ready.

I actually look forward to my walks. But walking in the dark is probably rather foolish. 

Thank goodness for my Samurai revelation. 

So, there I was Friday night, so incredibly pleased with myself. Walking briskly in the dark with my backpack on my back, ear buds in my ears and batlight illuminating the path in front of me and hopefully making me qui…