Words. Inside.

ImageWhat can I possibly write? I have words smashing around in my mind, in my chest, words that will hit the page like hammer blows, like tears falling. I have words trapped and seeking, and I can’t provide their freedom.

I have no place to put these thoughts – these words – this volcano –  that will not harm. There is no place to set this burden down. I will cause pain, no matter where I try to take ease.

If you see me, realize you are seeing what you expect to see… in the way the proofreader skips over spelling errors and jarring mistakes, seeing only what the brain predicts. 

That sound you hear when we pass is effort…those words want out.

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Impossible Loss

sad bear

The community I live in and love has been struck hard by tragedy in the last month. Two young families have lost their Dads…quickly, shockingly, unfairly. The two families have 5 children between them, all 11 and younger.

The two men, both dedicated outdoors men were friends. They worked together, shared similar passions and lived their lives with enormous intensity and capacity for joy. They died 3 weeks apart, separately, in two completely unrelated tragedies.

Last night on my flight home from a visit to the big city I brushed up close to that pain. I sat with the sister in law of the most recently lost husband, father, friend, Daddy. Her heart was in pieces, visibly. She was lovely. She was so sad, so worried for her sister, her little niece and the shell shocked boys. Their father died trying to save them from a river; them and the son of the woman sitting next to me for 3 hours. I felt…still feel, gutted. I am grateful that I was there, able to help her with her own young daughter, be a new face, a new ear, a new mirror to look in to see who she is now.  As she told me the story, my heart broke again and again.  At one point, she said, there were six people in the river, all drowning. Half were there to save, half were being saved. All were at risk of being lost. Too few safety measures afforded by the resort they were visiting, so many people, so much crying and fear and screaming, so little anyone could do. And so, one Daddy died. One husband is gone. So many lives are forever changed.

I wasn’t there. I don’t know the family personally, though I feel so connected to them. I felt that connection even before meeting this woman who has so much to try and block from her memory, so much to move forward from. I felt that connection because I am a wife, I am a mother.   I feel that connection so much more now, having had the little girl with the saddest face I’ve ever seen sit on me, play with my phone and take sad photos of herself. This little girl has just lost her Daddy; she is 3.

The two families, linked by friendship and interest and passion and love of the outdoors are now linked by sorrow, loss and tragedy.  I am now, forever, linked to their story. I will never erase from my  heart the sight of this woman, this heartbroken sister, the aunt of these children in shock. She almost lost her own son and father to the river, lost instead her brother in law, her sister’s joy and her own sense of security in the world.

She said it was so awful. So horrible. So unbelievable. She has touched my life forever.

Yukon, we have two families who need us terribly right now. 5 children who will need all the support we can provide. Two mothers whose worlds have just been turned upside down, and who haven’t even begun to measure what lies ahead. I want to do something. I wish I could do something.

Sorry… I’ve already taken off my bra.

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Is there anything better than that? Taking off your bra? Walking in the door, shedding the boots, the socks, the belt, the earrings and necklace, and ohmigodgetitoffbeforesomebodydies… the bra. I don’t care how much it cost. I don’t care how pretty it is. I don’t care if the girls look like a million bucks when I’m wearing it. For the love of all that is holy get the damned thing off.

I am a lot smarter about buying bras now than I used to be. I check the underwire… I know what’s likely to kill me and what’s not, but it’s not fail safe. Dammit, those cross your heart hope to die pieces of feminengineering are a pain in my….soft bits. That’s right. My soft bits.

Why the HELL do I wear a bra? I don’t even have much to lift!  I realize now, living with teenagers horrified by any suggestion that their old ma is actually a girl, that I wear a bra largely to hide the occasional nipple hard on, to keep the old girls from moving, and to keep everything “dignified”.

Seriously? I suffer this kind of indignity for other people? Not even for me?! Hmmmm.

Maybe a rethink is in order. Would you REALLY be that horrified by the actual suggestion of a nipple under my (not transparent) shirt?

Yeah right. As if I could pull that off without walking around with a concave chest, bent in on myself to disguise the nakedness beneath my clothes.

Alright. I’ll keep it on during the day but lordy lordy, don’t stand between me and hoochy girl freedom the minute I run through that door at day’s end. And don’t even bother asking me to do anything after 6pm most nights… once that straight jacket’s been removed I am in, baby.. in for the night!