RSS Feed

Tag Archives: christopher

Fracturization (As the Crutches Turn)

MetroPCS billboard, $40 Unlimited talk, text, web.

MetroPCS billboard, $40 Unlimited talk, text, web. (Photo credit: JC0598)

365 Day 69 Genetic Testing

365 Day 69 Genetic Testing (Photo credit: lornagrl) - Someone's hand after genetic testing

I have a good friend who is a deacon at a church called Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.  He kind of acts in a fatherly capacity and has ever since I started to have my life more intertwined with county mental health treatment.  I first started to talk to him before my life became controlled by the courts (conservatorship).  He continued to be a grounding source of wisdom during the time when I was institutionalized, later when I was at a board and care facility, and finally when I came back to the Monterey area to begin with the transitional housing community at which I met my husband almost five years ago.  He has stayed the course as a true friend, offering advice, frequent kind gestures, and support in general.  He helped me yesterday when I had to go to the orthopedic doctor to get my ankle examined and a wrap to stabilize it.

He also tried to take me grocery shopping, but I did not have my ID to make the check.  My credit union was not open.  I needed to activate my new card, but I could not that day.  As a result, I have not been able to pay my Metro PCS pre-paid phone bill.  I have to activate the card in person.  I e-mailed my friend, but he does not always check his e-mail.  I also e-mailed another friend who is wife of the minister at the church where I personally would attend.  Frustration.

My husband said he would come over this week and help me do some things, help me to get some food, maybe with showering (you know, hand me the towel, maybe help pull me out of the bathtub since I don’t have a seat for the shower, clean up).  He might not be able to come tomorrow because his mother is insistent that we get this genetic test for David.  I told my husband to tell her that I currently can’t afford it.  I am trying to get insurance to cover the test.  He told me she was upset at me for not being able to pay for it.  I tried to call the hospital before my phone was disconnected.  I left a message.  I was going to find out precisely how much the test costs and if they think the insurance I am currently applying for would cover that.  I can’t call now except using an online phone.  I’ve used Gmail, but I don’t know if it does long distance calls.  San Francisco is long distance to me.

Tired of frustration and stress, people not being understanding, tired I really am.  I told my mother that I think my mother-in-law does not really care one way or the other if I am well.  She (my mother) pointed out how Patricia (mother-in-law) sure enjoyed being around David.  I answered that she may enjoy that, but she really doesn’t seem to care at all about my interests.  Honestly, inside, I feel she wouldn’t care if I fell off this great Earth.  I’m sure that’s a terrible thing to say, but I get that impression.  I stayed with her for a couple months while my husband was going through some troubles, and she wasn’t very understanding when I was depressed while my marriage was in trouble and I had to stay away from my own home with the baby.  She didn’t seem very compassionate.  She wouldn’t even drive me to the doctor, only stay with the baby.  It seemed as if my own needs always came last.  I’m not sure if that is the way most in-laws are.  I don’t know, not having much experience.  I don’t know if I’m perceiving things differently.  I’m no expert, but I can only say how I feel.

I don’t know how long I have to just stay home while I wait for my ankle to be somewhat better.  I don’t know what the indication would be that I could do things on my own.  The doctor gave a six to eight week projected recovery period.  That timeline falls outside the anticipated date for my son’s birthday party.  I’m sure I could ask in three weeks when I go to see the orthopedic again.

Good grief, Charlie Brown.



Two Pluses and One minus Equals One Plus, Which Puts Me Ahead of My Game

Rainbow over Monterey

Rainbow over Monterey (Photo credit: JamesMoberg)

English: The Monterey Institute of Internation...

Image via Wikipedia

Seal of the Monterey Institute of Internationa...

Image via Wikipedia - Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS)

I don’t really like that title, but I could think of none better.

Sometimes the old adage goes, “One step forward and two steps back.”  Sometimes not.

Last Friday, I lost my personal items on the bus.  I may have posted about this or I may not.  Either way, I lost the following in my purse which was beautiful and had a nice rainbow glitter design on the front with a zipper and was the kind that could be worn cross body style because it had a nice long strap.  It was dark blue, and I think I bought it while I was in my undergraduate years.  I lost the following:  One pink small-size eco-friendly moleskin (certain type of journal/writing book) made with 100% post-consumer materials — this said it would be recoverable only I didn’t have the foresight to actually register it at the website like they suggested, one wallet with two debit/credit cards (credit union and major bank), two or three checkbooks, a bunch of receipts, some cash, my set of keys (with apartment keys & mailbox keys), random lip balms, maybe some lotion, and I’m sure other stuff I’m not thinking about.

This week has been partially about backtracking.  My credit union knows me even though I only just started with them this year.  They were kind enough to allow me to withdraw cash although I do not have my ID (oh, yes, that must be one of the things I forgot to list!).  I had to get back to spare key I had given my husband to get in on his own.  He no longer can do so.  I’m waiting for my friend who works with the management of my apartment complex to call today so that I can get into my mailbox and get my mail to include my beginning-of-the-month check that I receive from a certain fund.  I will go over and remind her gently after lunch.  I may just hang out with her in the office for a while.  I’ve called the post office at both the distribution center and the regular post office where I would receive the keys.  I left a message, but I will have to call again after lunch as well.  I’ll hope I can go on Monday.  I’ve been so busy lately running around to other parts of town to visit my son on Tuesday, before that visit my husband, also go to see an Episcopal-Lutheran priest yesterday with him (although I am of neither denomination; I am Unitarian Universalist).  I haven’t even had time to go and volunteer this week.

I’m supposed to make a list of activities that I will be doing with the peer center in Monterey called Our Voices.  It’s another center run by peers mainly in Interim, Inc.  The link to that organization is provided, of course.  I haven’t done this yet, but I will today.

The other thing I did (bigger) is that I contacted Monterey Institute of International Studies online this morning and requested information about their program where a person can get a Bachelor of Arts in International Policy and a Master of Arts in another field within three years total (for both programs).  I decided I would find out about various language programs.  I’m interested probably in the Translation and Interpretation program although I started out looking into the programs where one would teach a foreign language or maybe English as a Second Language.  The admissions person said they would have a particular person talk to me about that all next week, someone who advises based on all the language-oriented programs.  This venture is really exciting to me because up until now, I was looking and looking and never had found a calling.  I’m approaching a resolution to the search that I’ve been having for about two years.  I will be proud to be on a road.

My husband and I talk of moving to Monterey or Marina, which is closer to the Peninsula where I live.  I’m in a more landlocked part of our area.  It’s somewhat safer on the peninsula and more pleasant overall.  The atmosphere is different, and it could be much more comfortable.

We’re going to be attending this Episcopal-Lutheran church every other week.  Christopher did not like the idea of every week.  I guess he feels he needs some Sundays to stay at home or relax.  I recommended that we could still be in touch with the reverend regardless.

I would love to live in the part of Monterey near the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS).  It’s the downtown area where there is close access to all kinds of shops, activities, some friends who live near there, and there is Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both close by.  Plus, this would be closer to both of our respective mothers.  It would make life much simpler and more peaceful, I believe.

Christopher has started to volunteer with a non-profit organization called Loaves, Fishes, and Computers.  Their mission primarily is to sell refurbished computer systems at a very low cost to create a greater access to these resources.  It’s great experience, and I’m impressed with him for doing this because he has never really volunteered before.  He has always wanted to get into a job with computers (currently is a landscaper for Interim, but he wants to expand away from this to his greater interest in computers and technology).  He does not have formal training but is very knowledgeable with figuring things out and is very personable when he is relaxed.  When he’s experiencing anxiety, he can be contentious, but more of the time he is fine.

I see if we take things easy, allow the time of transition to pass and look forward to the days when, as the priest says, our son can make a choice about having a relationship with us in future years, focus on the present without looking backward to create depression or too much into the future to create anxiety…. If this all can be achieved, then we will be on a healing and wonderful path.  This is my goal, my prayer, and it is my wish.

Letter I wrote to a Rabbi at a Local Temple

I have often wondered about Jewish traditions since my mother’s side is Jewish although by an interesting turn of events her parents decided to join the Unitarian Universalist community when my mother was young. My grandmother felt she had a religious experience that led her to explore other ways, and my grandfather was staunchly atheist. This created a mixture of beliefs, but I still think of our family as having “Jewish roots.” The only part of our family that still practices the traditions is my aunt’s family in Oregon and my mother’s cousin in the Bay Area. I have little knowledge personally although I have attended Congregation Beth Israel in Carmel Valley in the past.

In addition to my spiritual journey or maybe as a part of, my husband and I as well as our family at large are undergoing a transition whereby our first and only child — our son, David, nearly two years old — is in a process of most likely being adopted by a family who were selected for us. We have had a long road, best not explained in writing. I am somewhat at a loss about how to go about accepting the change. I start to believe I have done so but then my mind gets to churning or someone suggests there might be options I haven’t thought of pursuing, and then I get wound up in that all over again. I guess I have not decided if there is any response appropriate or possible other than to simply allow this to happen. My nature would be not to allow it to happen. My inclination on the other hand is to do what is best for my son although I do not have proof that this cours of action actually is the best. I have only the word of some social workers and psychologists (things I can explain later), but I do not know in my heart that this is right for my son. I cannot see the future, and I cannot see how he is doing other than through word-of-mouth. I can only trust others, and this is hard for me like you wouldn’t imagine.

I have written a short children’s story that I am making available through Amazon and shortly through some local channels such as Steinbeck Center (perhaps), gallery/bookshops, Bookshop Santa Cruz, and whatever else.

My husband and I are simultaneously trying to make sense of our marriage since we had to separate due to instabiliy. We are always unsure what the best solution is and hesitant to make changes. We still have regular contact but we reside separately since he is in a special kind of housing. I would allow him to explain.

I have invited my husband to attend a service soon but would want to know how late the services usually go since we travel everywhere by bus. If there are other events we could know about or times when we could talke to the Rabbi, please make me aware of them.

Thank you.


Spilled Soup/Loss of Wisdom/Other Feelings of Loss

Tonight I made a simple soup:  Cabbage, fresh tomato, red potato, onion powder, vegetable broth, water, no added salt.  Unfortunately, my unwarranted pride over this mixture went just before the proverbial fall.  I was holding the large, white, plastic dollar store bowl in a way that I thought would allow the hot contents to be viewed through my webcam by my husband.  I tried to restart the laptop, but it was too late.  Instead of the usual screen that would precede the Windows 7 logo, it was a lime green, then it would not start at all.  I may have taken out accident insurance on this one.  We shall see when Christopher goes with me to Best Buy.  Right now, I am just updating from an app for WordPress from my phone.

In other events, I had my top wisdom teeth out on Monday.  The top right is still sore, and I am limited in food.  I had not had many fresh vegetables since then, so maybe this was why I got so excited abouted cabbage/potato/tomato soup.

Today was the first real visit of the new year with our son.  It was also the last one for my mother and Christopher.  There had been some time just before the parental rights hearing but not substantial. 

I can feel Christopher’s sadness when I talk to him.  He feels his son will never want to know him as he gets older.  I hope his feelings do not cause an unintentional wall possibly built by Christopher himself.  I am not sure my place — if any — in their relationship.  I just always hope and pray for the best as always.

Some Things Just Are Not Important

Sometimes my husband and I quarrel over the silliest trifles.  Gameboys, brunches, bread, dinners, and these become names, and the names become volcanoes of venom that would probably end it all if we weren’t the small amount of careful that we are.  We walk a fine line between love and hate.  But we never hate each other.  We always love each other, but maybe it’s what we define as being love that changes our perception of one another.

This goes back to something the minister’s wife told me, recommended to me at one point: A group, kind of therapy but in someone’s private house, kind of a workshop, involving restructuring one’s expectations including what we want versus what is necessary.

For example, I might think it is necessary in my definition of love that my husband leaves here every time he goes away with a kiss and a very long goodbye.  I might think it necessary that he does little things for me around the house.  I might think it also necessary that when we get home from a day together that he would want to spend even more time together.  But no, maybe he just wants to spend his time with his Gameboy, and that’s all right.  He can do that.  I need to respect that.  There’s nothing wrong with him playing a game and me writing or working or watching a movie or reading.  Neither is better.  I don’t need to judge our time together.

I don’t need to be so dramatic.  Drama sucks, and I need to be mindful of its effect on people.  I have a tendency to be melodramatic even if I don’t admit it.  That can affect our relationship.  It can make it harder for me to accept situations in our lives.

Simple.  One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to be more simple.  I think I’m going to take some time out after doing chores today and working out to write some more about my resolutions.  Also, I’ll let my thoughts out about my son.  I can’t bottle them up, but I don’t need to talk about them every waking moment with Chris.  Balance.

The Tale of Superbaby

In this blog, I talk a lot about my son and my husband.  Maybe it’s time to tell the story.  It’s not that long ago.  It feels like just yesterday that I found out I would be having a baby, then we found out it would be a boy.  I was nervous about taking medication at first.  In fact, I tried to stage a protest in my doctor’s office while I was in the hospital (not the maternity ward).  They wouldn’t let me out, I felt, until I agreed to take medications they deemed were the least likely to be risky toward the baby.  I was still uncomfortable, but I had little choice.

Nintendo: Instead of Mario or Luigi it's Christopher and I. We are inside the world of pixels (in this case, pastels), and we've just met where we used to live.

We had met in transitional housing for people with mental illness.  I arrived there in maybe 2007.  He had been there a couple of years longer than me and was in permanent housing already when I met him.  I was on my way to the Clothes Closet where residents and people from outside that housing could pick up free donated clothing.  I didn’t have many of my own at the time because lots of my things were still waiting to be brought over from storage or had been stolen in the facilities in which I had to reside during my treatment.

Chris and I started to run into each other a lot.  This would not have been noteworthy since we lived across the circle from each other.  Still, I did not know where he lived at that time even though he says to this day the first words he spoke to me were, “I live over there.”  He saw me when I was on the bus and trying to cash a check that I’d received for my weekly funds.  I didn’t know I could do it in a store, and he showed me how.  I didn’t have a bank account then.  He showed me where the Grocery Outlet Bargain Market was in that town.  He introduced me to a few shortcuts between the corner store and where we lived.  He helped me get acquainted and became a kind of guide as well as a friend to hang around with in those early days.

I did not know yet then that he had a girlfriend.  She lived in transitional housing, too.  She lived in my side, the non-permanent, two year program.  Chris had started following me around, knocking on the house door where I was staying with two other female roommates, and just around that time his girlfriend decided to pay me a visit.  One of my roommates was concerned when she wanted to go for a walk with me.  Apparently, she had a history of violence and stalking.  I was fine but nervous.

Time passed and the girlfriend ended up being kicked out of the program.  She had been somewhat difficult with Chris.  I’m not sure I should go into detail about that since it is private and over with.

During the time my husband and I were still dating, there were moments when I couldn’t trust him.  He had a hard time pulling away from his relationship with his ex.  I would hear gossip about him being with her.  Sometimes he would tell me himself.  Other times we would have other kinds of disagreements after which he would run away to her.  We broke up and got back together a couple times.  During the breakup, he got together with her, and I was upset.  One time I even think I walked by them as I was walking over the ball park on the way home from somewhere.  They didn’t see me, but I saw two people that looked like they could’ve been them lying on the grass together.  He and I used to do that, too.  I felt embarrassed, and I didn’t feel like saying anything at the moment.

When I found out I was to have a baby, he and I were not really together.  I suspected the pregnancy and had been concerned about taking medications so stopped taking them completely without letting anyone know.  My thinking and behavior changed. I fell at one point (probably my balance was off and I didn’t even know I was pregnant).  This was almost two years after I moved in and I met Christopher.

The main chapter began when I was walking home all the way from where I used to study to be a Special Ed teacher.  I think I had just barely managed to save myself from being disqualified from the program due to incompletes (since then I have actually been disqualified).  I had walked probably over two and a half miles.  I was almost home, but there was a gap in the sidewalk.  I wasn’t looking where I was going and was just in my head as I was walking.  I was dreaming about career objectives.  I tripped on the sidewalk itself right where it ended and the road began.  My ankle or maybe the bottom of my instep smashed the very corner of the sidewalk.  I could barely make myself get up, but there was no one around.  I managed to drag myself back to the community room.  I sat there, but there was a group going on.  It was Halloween or the weekend of and no one wanted to take me to the doctor.  I managed to convince someone to take me to one on campus where I had just come from.  I ended up getting an ankle brace and sleeping downstairs.

I was concerned about being pregnant around that time and stopped taking my medication as a precaution.  It may or may not have been related to my concerns because I have always been at odds with the need to take medication.  While I was injured and lying on the couch, I ended up getting really bored.  When I get bored, I sometimes end up with the urge to just eat a lot, so I ended up eating some of my roommate’s white rice.  I got in a whole lot of trouble for that.  I felt terrible.  I ended up staying in the studio apartment they reserve for some people’s family members.  I didn’t do well there.

One night, I ended up in a confrontation with the director and assistant director of the program.  The result was that I went to Community Hospital.  They asked if I wanted a pregnancy test, and it turned out to be positive.  That was the first I knew for certain.  It changed my life.  I’ve never been back to that particular hospital.  Since the baby has been born, I haven’t ended up in the hospital much at all.  I’m not sure if that’s my doing or because of all the work I’ve done at Shelter Cove and other treatment programs.

While I was pregnant, we began with one obstetrician who recommended 3D ultrasounds, which we did.  The preliminary ultrasounds had all been healthy.  We had also learned we were going to have a boy.  Chris and I were thrilled.  However, the 3D ultrasounds showed possibilities of genetic problems we had not anticipated.  Chris was very scared while I tried to stay strong.

David, our son, was born onApril 24, 2010at10:41 am.  Chris and I had been married on April 10th, just 14 days before.  We had talked about marriage even before I found out I was pregnant.  I’m not sure it’s possible to find a reason we got married or to say it was just because of the baby.  I think it was not just one dimensional.

I had been due to give birth in June.  David was about seven weeks early born by Cesarean.  He had small holes in his heart that showed up in the 3D ultrasound, which was why I was advised to give birth at UC San Francisco Medical Center rather than locally as I had planned.  All that is inconsequential now, but it is history.

The more serious medical issue was that David had meconium ileus, basically a blockage in his intestines.  The hospital tried to move it or diagnose it, but the intestine ruptured.  Finally, they had to have us sign papers to perform a colostomy operation.  David had the colostomy bag from four days old to when he was six months old.  It was very stressful.  The maintenance of the bag itself was nightmarish.  I will not go into detail.  Suffice to say, it was all very difficult, and Chris was out of work since he felt like helping in the beginning.  Even when he returned to work, he would sometimes miss it in order to go up toSan Franciscowith his mother and me or to go to local pediatric appointments.

I did not know for a long time Chris had relapsed on drugs and alcohol.  This got to be more of a problem later on, but the mere fact was always a problem to me.  I did not feel it safe while having a young baby.  Chris went off his medication for a long time.  We would also argue quite a lot and lose our focus taking care of our son.  It was very hard.  I feel bad for that part of our time together.

I stayed with my mother-in-law at the suggestion of a social worker.  It was not the best situation and caused dissention between me, Chris’ sister and Chris.  I was there last year from about October to just before Christmas.  I had Thanksgiving with my mother but prayed really hard to be with my husband as a family for David’s first Christmas.  Maybe God’s trade was that we could be together that Christmas but none anymore after that.  Who can say, right?

Chris and I only lived together until just after Christmas.  We had been fighting all the way through the holidays.  I am a vegan, but I forget what I had for Christmas that year for myself.  All I remember was making two Cornish hens for Chris, not knowing how to cook them, and them being very dry at the end.  I remember getting very angry at him in the supermarket over him eating a loaf of bread before paying for it.  An argument over a loaf of bread; I am so ashamed.  I remember Chris had bought a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree with one red ornament just like in the movie.

When Chris left, we got into the worst argument we’ve ever had.  I won’t go into details.  It resulted in the social worker telling him we shouldn’t live together if we can’t get along.  She recommended a divorce.  We have just remained living apart.

I kept taking care of David up untilApril 5, 2011.  My mother-in-law took him up toSan Franciscowith us for a genetic result.  Everything was fine, but they wanted to do a test on Chris and I to make sure David didn’t have any other genetic problems.  I was being cautious because it was an expensive test and I don’t have insurance right now.  Chris’ mom got upset that I wouldn’t “just get a poke in the arm” for my son.  We got into quite an argument.  Sometimes Chris tells me “everyone argues.”   Call me crazy (some folks will anyway), but I don’t like arguing.  Maybe I shouldn’t have asked her opinion and everything would have been fine.  Sorry for wanting to be on good terms.

While on the ride home, mom-in-law didn’t speak to me except when I asked to pull over at Target to get something for David to eat, and she barked at me to get out of the car.   She drove the car really fast, and I was concerned.  The carseat struck me as not safe.

I may have gotten to the point of anxiety or paranoia at that point because I was already kind of in grief.  You see, April 5th was my father’s birthday, and it will be ten years next year since he took his life.  I had a long time when I blamed myself.  I had recurring anniversary effects at his birthday, date of his death, Father’s Day, or sometimes other holidays.  I was already triggered.  My reactions on this day were not the same as they would have been if it had been another day.

When I got home with David and it was time to give him a bath, maybe read a story, put him to bed, have dinner for myself, I must not have been thinking correctly.  I overreacted to my feelings that the carseat had been unsafe (a used model, but still functional).  I called the emergency number, and I believed my son wasn’tbreathing.  They checked him out, but they were also concerned for my state of mind and how that would impact my ability to care fo my son.  Since there was no one else who could watch him, for that night, he went into custody.  I went to the hospital.  My mother-in-law took care of him for a fewmonths with her daughter’s assistance.  Finally, they decided they could not take care of him, so they found a foster home with the people he stays with now.

During the beginning of when my mother-in-law took care of David, I was in a crisis house.  There was a first assessment during that time of both Chris and me to see if we would be able to get services for reunification services through the family and children’s services department.  The results of that assessment were unfavorable for both of us.  It was devastating.  Chris was starting to come to terms with the fact that most likely David would be adopted by the foster family, who had already agreed to do so if necessary.  There was a second evaluation a few months later, the results of which were also not favorable.

Visitation with David started at twice a week, then after the last assessment went to once a week, once every two weeks, then now it’s once amonth.  The foster/adoptive family will move sometime after next summer since the foster dad is in the Navy

I occupy my time hanging out and volunteering atOmniResourceCenter.  I’m an administrative assistant there as well as a peer.  I also am helping to organize and edit the newsletter for Our Voices.  Both are peer support centers run by the same program that had our transitional housing.

This whole story leads up to now.  Today Christopher and I are having a cozy New Year’s Eve at home.  I might try to find the Time’s Square thing on the internet.  We’re watching the movie Gran Turino with Clint Eastwood.  He lives in Carmel, where we both grew up.  I made myself some very garlicky popcorn, so now, it’s time to join my husband.

!!!Happy New Year!!!

Publications and Prayer

My blog lay stagnant like fallen leaves upon a still, cold winter’s ground. It froze, but it is resuscitated. Life it has once again, hallelujah! I sound overdramatized, don’t I? It is no matter, really. No, it’s not. It’s not in the slightest.

My husband has been worried that I stay up late. I am fine. I am going through a night owl phase, and it will correct itself when it needs to do so. That is not a great concern. I am enjoying being up at night for the moment. That is not an issue that needs solving. I can control this. I am strong. I am a strong and capable woman, and I have all I need to succeed in life. I have not always believed so in the past, but now I know so. Now I am certain. I am no pushover. I am secure in my being for once in my life. It’s a very nice, wonderful, empowered feeling.

There is so much I can do with this feeling. There is so much I can do with this new sense of myself. One is that I have written a children’s book. I have yet to find a market for it. This will come with time. I tried to get the word out through my Facebook page. That was not successful, nor was Google+. I asked at a local gallery that also sells used books. The woman said they might be interested in a local author as well. She said they do have others. My mother said there is still one independent bookstore open in Pacific Grove. I will bring copies around with me to take to establishments in the near future. I just ordered copies recently, but they had errors. I need to order at least one more.

I tried to find writing jobs for short stories and poetry to submit to literary magazines. They did not respond at all. This was somewhat discouraging. I would have at least liked to feel dignified with a rejection letter. Alas, no word from either of them, and I’ve not tried any new ones. I can search around. Apparently, the market is different. All the publications are in online format, naturally. Many of the publications used to be strictly old fashioned printed ones, but no longer. Some have only existed as online “zines.” I would just like to have a chance. I find, however, that since I lack formal training, I am afraid I may not have the skill or style they would be searching for in particular. I cannot be sure.

I wrote one other story, not a children’s story, but it is only just over three pages in length. I do not know if I should post it up into my stories section on here. I will think about it and decide. I probably will end up doing it even though some of the publications will not accept previously published works, even if it’s just to a blog. I like having my writing out in view, though. I am just learning. I like feedback in a way even though I cringe at the idea of people saying what I write is inferior quality. I am very sensitive as most writers probably are about people reading their thoughts. Writing is so very personal.

I have been praying a lot in recent weeks. I was more for a while in particular. I don’t do it every night as I should, but I do it when I think about it. Often, I pray about my father, or I pray to God to keep my father company up in Heaven or wherever he is. I pray that there be an end to the suffering of the world, a thing probably many people would wish for, and I am sure I am not alone in this. I pray for relief from sickness for those I know and love as well as those I do not know from mental illness as well as other serious diseases. I pray for cures for things like cancer. I pray for cures for things like multiple sclerosis, too. My mother has multiple sclerosis. I pray for peace in my marriage, and I pray for an end to hardship within loving relationships. I pray for good in the world, and I pray for miracles, compassion, and love. I have also prayed about a friend of ours who recently died from a drug overdose. He committed armed robbery at a small local pharmacy, then promptly took the pills he stole in a bathroom at a restaurant two doors down, passed up, died that night of the overdose. He was just one year older than me, 30 years old. I pray for him to have peace. I am very spiritual and somewhat religious although I confess I do not know what it really means to be religious. I do not attend church because it is inconvenient for me to go since I have a lack of effective transportation. I wish I could go more often.

I am tired finally. My husband is here. I pray we reunite under one roof peacefully with love for one another for the rest of our lives. I love him so, and I don’t want to be angry at each other anymore. I want us to tolerate and learn to love each other’s little imperfections. I want to learn more compassion for him in times of need. I want to be more giving, more understanding, and I want to be less selfish. I have found I can be quite controlling, and I have my own anger problems that I am not proud of admitting.

Peace, love, good will toward all on this night so close to Christmas and in the time of year where others celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. I pray for all to find peace and love in this world that has been hurting for so long. Bless us, please, Lord. Amen.