What Do I Say When…?

 

As an introvert, I do not often mix work and my personal life. At work, I am “on”. I enjoy the people I work with and give as much of myself as I can. At home, I put up a protective barrier and little gets through, maybe aside from Social Media. But then there are certain people that also give of their energy instead of taking.

I have a dear friend that has such a wonderful and eloquent way with words. She is such a positive light, even in her own hurt. I sometimes joke when I introduce her to people, that she could tell you about a dog taking a poop in a way that would make you WANT to pick up that poop. She finds, identifies, and celebrates the good in people and situations. She is truly amazing in the way she breathes life into people.

So it absolutely broke my heart when I learned that this awesome woman lost her father. I am really horrible at condolences and often just give space to the grieving. But as we both are very articulate of our feelings, I simply asked if I could share her gift of word with the world.

“Nearly 15 years passed after his first stroke, but his tenacity never wavered. That ogre called stroke suppressed his body, but not his will. Today, he unexpectedly surrendered to the daily plight endured, cast hemiparesis aside, and walked into heaven’s gates unbroken. While dense fog permeates our midst, we have been lavished with an outpouring of love.”

She wrote an email upon her return from the service:

“I return to work today still feeling afflicted and emotionally bankrupt, but at the same time, attempting to find gratitude for the small lights of love in my midst. Those came by way of a multitude of messages and expressions of kindness.

I kindly accept warm embraces and must add, those have sustained me in the past week. While I will readily accept all hugs, I do ask that all refrain from questions. I know that any conversation about my dad will erupt in a flood of tears.

My dad’s services honored his life and highlighted his will to serve. I hope to continue carrying the torch he so readily upheld.

I wrote the following piece, printed 50 copies, and had all our family read along during a dove release ceremony. Thought I’d share below:

Your soul is released to a place on high;

Where trumpets sound in the celestial sky.

Those left behind your hand wish to hold;

We trust in God and will rely on one another, further cementing our bond as if cloaked in gold.

We promise to band together, to forge and cinch our allegiance and unity;

To honor your life and remember you for all eternity. ”

 

She told me that a conversation with her niece sparked her inspiration for this poem. She felt the need to pull her family together. Time had waned the urgency of family and life took priority of making memories. We talked about coming of age where we leave much behind to work hard and make it on our own, that sometimes we no longer make time for those outside of immediate day to day life. My friend did not want her family to feel regret, or dwell in a place of division or seclusion. But she wanted to honor her father in the way that memorialized who he was.

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My dad loved to spend time on the water, so we spent the weekend at Grand Lake sharing stories and honoring his life.

She went on to tell me that her father had the gift of word. That he had a way of speaking life, hope, and happiness into anyone. Something she wanted to carry in his legacy.

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“You left my world unexpectedly;

without notice or advisory, you were taken from me.

While I cannot comprehend why you are no longer here,

I try to hold on to reason and rationalize my fears.

Many of us want to rewind the clock, to hug you one more time,

and feel your embrace, hear you try to make rhymes.

Sometimes your words were poetic to me.

You were gifted and talented in prose, with a God-given ability to speak.

When inspiration knocked, a flood would emit

and the end resulted in persuasive words that yielded significance.

I will honor your legacy by appealing to others with your gift of word,

And continue your tradition of inspiring others with purpose to serve.

Your words infused conviction for all humanity.

You manifested God’s love, showcasing a life of integrity.

Thank you for the gifts bestowed along the way,

For establishing a bedrock of truth, for that and more we honor your life today.”

 

My heart is so full of this woman. Her words are always so heavy with love, encouragement and praise. It was no wonder then when she described her father’s gift of word, where she had gotten it from. She spoke of him in a way that made me wish I had known him. There is no doubt that everyone that had that privilege was a much better person because of it.

 

Dear My Sweet Friend,

I cannot fathom the emptiness left by the physical absence of your father. The hunger and thirst to hear his voice, and receive his words that would pick you back up and set you on track. You have worked so diligently to ensure that your family is able to feel warmth and love in a time when otherwise would feel cold and regretful. I also can see that this is the constructive way that you have chosen to heal. You have strength beyond measure and his light and gifts shine through you every single day. You honored him even while he lived and you continue to do so. You are allowed to be emotionally taxed. You are allowed to cry. You are allowed to set those boundaries for yourself. But know that you are supported by people that admire and love you. Thank you for letting me share you, your father, and your story with the world.

My Perfect Work Space

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I have not taken part in a flash fiction challenge in a long time. I have followed Kimberly Crawford since the beginning of my blog nearly two years ago. My first short story, The Last Piece,was from my first shot at one of her challenges. I am thankful that she continues to post these.

This week, we are challenged to write about our ideal work space. Deep in my heart this is where I want to be.

I write in the wee morning light. When everything slumbers. When the night animals tuck in their dark spaces to escape the day and the day animals roll sleepily where they had claimed as home the night before. When my children are snuggled so warm and peaceful and my husband’s feet are still warmed by the pup at the foot of our bed. The crickets have stopped and the birds have not started.

My wooden desk sits slightly shorter than most, but perfect for me. It’s old and worn and soft to the touch. The front ledge is rounded from generations of pen wielding arms pulled from left to right creating hand written letters, stories, poems. Parchment replaced by technology: a double screen, wireless keyboard and mouse. The sentiment remains the same.

My chair sometimes requires conscious balance. Leaning back is a guaranteed concussion, but the arm rests still serve their purpose. The cushion needed reupholstering when my grandmother was a child. The red, orange, yellow fibers are still vibrant nearest the wooden frame but the seat has a comfortable divot to accommodate my posture. Nothing comes close to this custom fit. I have purchased new chairs, but none offer the history and familiarity as this heirloom.

My coffee sits to the left of my keyboard. The steam carries the aroma of awakening and clarity. It brings me from the fog of sleep into the world that I have created on the screen. Sometimes the two intertwine in my dreams, other times I require the liquid motivation to bring back to the place where it started, like a conditional learning pattern. I keep a black pen near my journal on the right. The journal is made of recycled material and has rough, beige pages. My pen spills more ink than needed making my thoughts appear bold and important against the imperfect paper.

A picture frame proudly displays a collage of my family: two happy adults with their silly and adorable son and daughter. A fat beagle is never far from the subjects. I keep a calendar for literary reference and sometimes to remind me of where I am in time, if ever I get lost.

I do not keep a clock and hide one from my screens. My children are my alarm in this place. I have reached a state where they are no longer competing for my attention. My work is completed in the silence of the morning, not in the corporate bustle of obligation.

The nook of my writing space is an extension of the living room. Pushed against the wall underneath a wide window. It faces south, so the sun passes by as it makes its daily journey but never directly in. With them cracked even just an inch, the sound of the rushing creek engulfs the space. It is both strong and gentle. It ushers a breeze that carries the scent of the over-hanging cottonwoods and tall standing aspens. The smells of earth and coffee transport me to the place where my thoughts become someone else. Where primal fears fuel the adrenaline needed for survival. Where lust is mistaken for love. Where death is not the end that it was once perceived to be. The world is no longer confined to what is tangible, but is simply anything I am able to articulate.

Sometimes, I do not even right. Sometimes I hold my coffee with two hands, lean carefully back in my soft but unstable chair and I muse. I let my mind step out of the window and float amongst the leaves of the trees, fall to the water and chase the rapids between rocks. I think of other places and who I would find there. I put them in situations and create their reactions. I allow myself to feel emotions that belong to others and make note of their progression.

With sounds behind me, a giggle, a yawn, sometimes even a flush, bring me back to the world that I cherish above any other I could imagine. Where my calendar reminds me of how far I have come and the little people so excited for the day that they have woken up and are that much older. They look forward to the real adventure Mommy will take them on. For the journey that they will live and the emotions of situations that are their own.

Before leaving, I glance one more time at my space and thank God that it has given me the ability to give to my children what I had only dreamed of.

100!!! -I’m doing a Give-Away!

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There have been a few events that make me feel like a legitimate writer. This is one of them. I have reached 100 followers on my Blog! I know a lot of you read from FaceBook, but if you’d like to contribute to my following click the “+Follow” button at the bottom right side of your screen and follow me via email.

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In honor of my HUGE milestone, I would like to offer a give away. I will do a random drawing for a custom artsy fartsy project handmade by yours truly. I haven’t quite put my finger on what it will be, but I promise it will be made with love. ❤ There will be 3 winners, so your chances of winning something are pretty high. I will also ship these items, so please do not feel limited by miles. For an idea of the kind of crafty things I do, you can check THIS  out.

How do I enter??? 

First- Follow my blog! lol Then you have a few options:

  1. Reblog your favorite Britestfyrefly post on your own page and link it back to me so I know who you are.
  2. Share the link to one of your favorite posts on Facebook and tag me.
  3. Email the link to your favorite post to a few people and CC me.

 

You may share as much as you want. Each link shared will get you an entry into the drawing which will happen Live on Facebook on February 28th and be posted and shared later that day.

Thank you all for all of your support through the last couple of years. A writer is nothing without readers 😀

Masterpiece

Continuing on memory lane brings more sad sad poems of a young girl struggling to fit in, find love, and to love herself. This poem is very fitting today because soon, I will be giving away a few custom artsy fartsy projects at random. I’m super excited about it. But I will get to that later.

I get my craftiness from my mother and my literary and musical talent from my father. And sense I am the middles child, I have turned out to be the perfect mix of the two.

 

“Erase me from this painting of chaos

If you can find me

I seem to fit in so well

Captive of my own choices

Pride and lust are my brushes

I paint with colors of shame and regret

Mistakes soil the canvas

Merely a fruitless struggle to become myself

Trapped by loaded words and accusations

But only the walls hear my silent screams…

‘This is my Masterpiece…'”

I am so excited that after almost two years, I have developed a system to produce consistent material for my blog and it has acquired almost 100 followers. I never thought I would see the day. If you have not already and would like to, you can officially “follow” my blog by clicking in the bottom right corner of your screen “+Follow”.

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Once I hit 100, I am going to do a give away to three lucky people that qualify.

Believe me, when I hit 100, you’ll know.

Have an awesome Wednesday everyone!

Potential

I really wish I had kept more journals when I was younger. It is like looking in the mirror and seeing myself 11 years ago.

“I never thought I’d see 21 single and without kids. I can’t imagine 25 at all. I’m in love with the potential I possess to be everything I have ever dreamed but I dread the work it will take to get there. I’m proud of how far I’ve come but I know I could have gone further.”

In the context, when I was 18 my close friend was getting married, as were many others in the small town I lived. I thought that would be my future as well, to be Betty Homemaker. At 21 I had just finished basic training and was headed home to join my National Guard unit. With multiple injuries, it had taken me a lot of time to recover and complete that chapter and I could not help but feel like, though I succeeded, I had failed a little.

At 25 I met “the man”. At 28 I had “the kid”. And at 32 we had our family; husband and wife, boy and girl, and dog. He’s a good dog. We both continue to work our asses off, but all in all I would be comfortable to say we live the good ole American Dream.

So I look in the mirror and I can’t help but laugh at that  young girl. Had I thought my time had past me by??  It is so hard to say. For reasons unknown to me, I have very little memory of ages 16-24. It might have been due to the trauma I’ve witnessed, but it does not explain the length of time that is merely sprinkled with familiarity. I do not remember ever writing anything, and now I am finding clues to my past in my own writing. Probably the weirdest thing. Maybe it will become my next story.

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