Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Give To Live

After Patti's death, one of the changes I went through...am going through is that I find it easier to give than I used to.
Easier to put other people above my self.

So when I feel an urge to give, I don't question it like I used to, I simply do it.
That's not to say I allow my emotions to be manipulated by a bum with a puppy, particularly since most bums are sex offenders that belong behind bars, but there's a difference between emotional giving and giving inspired by God.
It feels different for one thing.

Would I be able to tell the difference if I didn't work hard to master my emotions rather than being mastered by emotions? Perhaps not, I can't say for sure.
Mostly because I have been working at mastering my emotions for a long time (thanks to Bob at One Cosmos for helping me do that). So dispassionate passionate giving is an easier transition than it might have been thanks to me being open more to wisdom than whatever I may be feeling at a given moment.

Does that mean I wouldn't ever give to a bum (or homeless person, or someone that's just goin' through a rough patch) with (or without) a puppy? Not at all.
In fact I already have. However, it's not something' I do automatically, unless I get that inspiration from my reverence points.
After all, God is able to tell the difference between a scam artist and someone who really does need a helping hand up better than I ever could.



Friday, March 13, 2015

In My Dreams


Yeah, so this song was playin' in my head last night while I was dreamin'.
Except, instead of seeing the lady in the video I saw Patti. And I didn't see the band.

Anyways, Patti was saying something but I couldn't make out what it was, so I looked for where the source of the music was coming from so I could turn it down.
Problem was, I couldn't find the source.

Eventually, I found it. It was a stereo that looked like a phone.
I looked for the volume control to turn it down, but Patti shook her head to stop me and placed three of her fingers on my lips, because I was about to talk and she wanted me to be quiet.

I remember hugging, and maybe we danced, or everything danced around us, I couldn't be sure since I was focused so much on Patti's eyes and her beautiful face, and she was staring intently into mine.
It was whelming, but not overwhelming. I mean, just not quite overwhelming, emotionally.
Or maybe a better word is rapturous.

Until the song ended. I started to speak again but Patti stopped me again, in the same way.
Then another song began to play.

I hadn't heard this song in a very long time.
Patti smiled and her brown eyes twinkled. Really. It was dazzling, in fact.
Then she spoke again.

I didn't hear her but I knew what she said this time.
She said, I'll see you in your dreams. I'll be here, waiting, until you join me.
The song ended, and Patti spoke again, except this time I heard her.
"Don't worry and be of good cheer HB," she said, smiling.

Once again, I attempted to speak and once again she stopped me, same as before.
When she touched my lips the dream faded away.

Then I woke up, with tears streaming out of my eyes.
And I smiled.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Soulshine

Aye. Soulshinin' is something' to aspire to. We've all met people that have what seems like an immense soul shine.
Patti, my grandma, my brothers, sisters and friends I have met on the 'net. And a few others I have had the privilege of meeting throughout my life.

How does one soulshine more?

Well, I'm working' on it, but I do know the number one thing I need to do and that's be thankful.
Without that one can't begin to soulshine at all.

Cultivatin' joy would be another thing I can do. It takes practice for me. Some folks seem to be born with it, while others need to practice more and focus through meditation, contemplation, prayer.
Jest gotta dive in and do it.

Which brings me to givin'.
Not just materially. but through prayer, friendship, love, honor, sacrifice...etc..
But you know, when I give it doesn't feel like a sacrifice. I need to give more to receive more.
But I can't give for that reason. It doesn't work that way.

No, I must give because it's the right thing to do. Sure, it may feel uncomfortable at times but it's liberating too. Therapeutic even.

Which leads me to forgiveness, of others and myself.
I gotta say this is the most difficult for me, but I know I must if I wanna transcend past where I am now.
Doesn't mean I gotta be best friends with those I forgive, but those chains need breakin' nonetheless.

Practicin' the virtues sure will go a long way to help me soulshine brighter.
When I do all these things in honesty then verily God's grace will flow like a river into my soul.

Thank you, my friends for soulshinin' on me. God bless you all.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Forever

I know my marriage vows said "'Til death do we part," however, I took that to mean...forever.
Sure, I know there is no marriage in Heaven. That doesn't mean there ain't no special connection between wives and husbands. How could there not be?
Just as there are special connections between friends or relatives we love.

Of course, I could be wrong, but I don't think so. It's not like the bond we form with our wife or husband simply disappear after the death of our bodies.
It will be different in Heaven, of that I am certain, but it will be better than anyone can imagine, and I can imagine a lot, so it's gonna be awesome sauce all the timelessness.

You know, sometimes I try to imagine 'better than I can imagine.' Perhaps it's pointless to do that, but since love and Heaven are good things I would like to think it isn't pointless at all, as long as I don't get obsessed with it.
The bonds of friendship n' love are truly liberating.
I know it liberates me from utter despair n' hopelessness.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Bridge


Bobby Ingram, a member of Molly Hatchet wrote this song after his wife died.
I can relate to the lyrics he wrote.

Some people never find the love of a lifetime. I am so thankful that I did.

Gotta hold on, you gno?

Faith gives me the chance, so I gotta take it.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Don't You Take It Lying Down



No! No!

Hold on, hold on tight,
I'll make everything alright,
Wake Up! Don't go to sleeep,
I pray the Lord your soul to keeep...

Suicide.
From what I have read nearly everyone has thought about it at some point or times in their life.
Thankfully, relatively few people actually act on those thoughts.

There was only one time I ever began to act on it. It was after my ill-conceived idea to get married.
This was before I met Patti. I had fallen in what I thought was love (lust, actually) with a barmaid in Long Beach, CA.

Everything was goin' great, or so I thought. My fiancé seemed to love me. I can still recall the look on her face when I asked her to marry me.
A look of surprise and joy. And here I was worried about bein' rejected.

First of all, sorry it's taken me so long to write about the conclusion of this story. It was just too painful and embarrassing to do so before now.
Well, partly.
The other reason is because I didn't want Patti to read it. I knew if she did it would cause her pain.
And I already had caused her more pain than anyone should hafta endure.

I had gotten a rare half day off and decided to surprise my fiancé. I didn't have a copy of her apartment key so I knocked on the door.

And a guy with a towel wrapped around his waist opened the door. Behind him I could see my fiancé in bed with another guy.

"What the hell?" I said, trying' to make sense of what I was seeing.

She got up out of bed, naked and walked to the door.

"It's okay Mark, I'll just be a minute. Why don't you pour us some more wine?" She said, nonchalantly.

It seemed so surreal. It was as if I was facing a completely different woman than the one I asked to marry me.

"I thought you were working all day," she said, glaring at me.

Is she for real? I wondered. Is this real?

"What the f#ck is goin' on?" I asked.

"Exactly," she said, smiling.

"What?" I asked, exasperated and not a little bit hurt.

"I don't think we should get married. You want to join in?" She asked, leering at me.

Is she demon possessed or something? I wondered.

I wasn't gettin' the love vibe anymore. The complete opposite, as a matter of fact. More like an evil vibe. And apparently, she wanted me to join in the evil. Revel in it, I reckon.

"Are you...are you se..serious?" I stuttered.

I used to have a stuttering problem when I was younger, but I had mostly conquered that problem by the time I had entered junior high school. Right after I began fightin' back against bullies.
But it was returning now, and that made me feel more insecure, vulnerable and, I dunno, like an idiot.

"Y-yes, I-I'm se-serious," she mocked, smiling that evil smile.

I didn't reply. I couldn't. I just had to get outta there. I walk quickly, almost running, to the sounds of laughter, from her and those other guys.

I don't know how long I walked, but before I realized it, darkness had fallen to match the darkness I felt on the inside.

Figures, I thought, anger rushing up inside and just itchin' to burst out.

I surveyed my surroundings and concluded I was in a bad side of town. I didn't care. Probably a good thing no one attacked me in the state I was in.

Then I directed that anger at myself.

You! Stupid! F#cking! Idiot! I screamed in my mind.

I went on like that for awhile and started walking' again. It was a damn good tirade if I don't say so.
I needed to smash somethin' and that somethin' was me!

Of course, smashing' myself wasn't very feasible so I did the next best thing.
I ducked into an alley, almost pitch black. A blackness than was encompassing my very soul. Utter darkness.

I reached into my pocket and got out my buck knife. I looked at my arms, wondering if I could really do it.
Do I have the guts? I thought. But it wasn't just my thought. It was alien. But I didn't care, did I?

I stuck my knife into the outside of my forearm, about a half inch deep and I cut about an inch across.
It hurt but not all that much. Blood came pouring out like the darkness in my soul.
I made another cut, a bit smaller this time. Then I started to cut my stomach, just a small stick, actually. I applied more force but it was tougher than I thought.

My stomach muscles are really more pliable than I thought, I thought, applying even more force.
The knife went in a bit more.

Then I pulled it out. Only a small wound remain, blood oozing out. I looked at the blood for awhile. It was dark but I could see the blood...black blood enveloping my arm and part of my stomach area.

It was then I broke down and tears flowed, but they weren't black like the blood. And somehow, that angered me again.
Enough to begin another tirade at myself.

You f#ckin' coward! I thought. You don't have the guts to do it!

This went on for awhile until I finally realized I wasn't a coward for takin' the easy way out.
I choose the hard way, I resolved. Because...f#ck it! Who cares? I just am!

Occasionally I still get a thought, rarely of committing suicide, but I am now strong enough to never act on it, and to obliterate those thoughts once again and nail 'em to the Cross!
And pray and contemplate my many blessings...

Yeah, life can be painful. So what? I'm thinking'. Am I gonna give up? Be a selfish loser?
Or am I gonna smash somethin'. Somethin' dark?
Ben Smash puny darkness! God smash puny darkness!!!

Okay, so I Hulk out every once in awhile. Holy Hulk out. I gotta be stronger than the darkness.
I Am stronger than the darkness.

Because He lives within' me.
And there ain't no darkness too evil for Him and for me to smash!!!






Thursday, December 25, 2014

Have A Very Merry Christmas!

I was plannin on mopin' around for Christmas. It would be so easy. Just wallow around, feel sorry for being All By Myself like Eric Carmen, but not as rich. Cry in my Christmas beer. Well, not actually IN the beer, that would be gross.
Whine in my Christmas wine.
Okay, scratch the whinin' I'm not a whino.

You get where I'm coming from, right? It's the first Christmas after...
Without...her.
Without...my love.
Without...a really good punch-line.

However, a funny thing happened as I was plannin' how I could maximize my mopiness (that's mopyness, not mop...you know what I mean).
I realized this would be the last thing she would want for me to do.
Well, maybe not the last thing. There are worse things than monopolizing mopyness, afterall. Let's not blow this thing out of proportion.

Where was I? Oh yeah, a funny thing happened. No wait, after that. I realized sure as she was sayin' it to me herself that Patti would not want me mopynizin' on Christmas.

Patti loved Christmas. It was her favorite Holiday of the year. Not because of gifts, at least not material ones, but because of the real meaning of Christmas:
Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Glory To The Newborn King! The Christ the King!
Made sense, since Jesus is the greatest gift of all.

Patti loved Christmas songs as well. And all the good Christmas shows. Decorating the house and making everything brighter and more beautiful.
Cooking and spending time together. Talking to the kids when they couldn't be here. Driving around at night to see the Christmas lights some folks put up.

When we would say grace at Christmas dinner she would thank our Lord for our children, for all His blessings upon us, and even for me.
She made me feel special, but in a good way.

On our first Christmas together, which was the second year we were married because I was on a WestPac deployment during what would've been our first Christmas, I recall the look of bewilderment on Patti's face when she opened up a gift I had gotten her.
It was dishwashing gloves.

Guys, never give cleaning supplies as gifts to your wife. They don't count. Seriously.

But rather than get angry about my snafuey faux pas Patti laughed about it, and would continue to laugh about it whenever she remembered it.
Of course, funny as it was I never repeated that snafuey faux pas. Well, not that particular one anyways.

One of Patti's favorite parts of Christmas was seeing the joy on our daughters faces when they opened their gifts, and spending time with them, doing stuff with them, and me.

During our first few years of marriage, when money was more scarce than Bigfoot in the Mojave desert, Patti's joy around Christmas was no less, because it was never about material things, it was about God and family.

Patti brought more joy to Christmas, no doubt about it.
And she still does.

Merry Christmas Patti and thank you!
And Merry Christmas to you guys! I hope you don't consider me presumptious in thinking that you all are family to me.