Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Reflecting on 2019

This morning I woke up and was thankful even though I woke up with a cough and definite chest congestion.  I would have to take care for this New Year's Eve.  A warning to take care for the new year, 2020.  I read some posts already on how 2019 was not the greatest of years.  Having had a really bad 2018 and coming out of my emotional fog into 2019, I would have to agree.  I felt all of the lumps in 2019.  I wasn't in a fog... for the most part.

Let me explain...

I was never the best at bumper cars.  It takes me a minute to figure things out adequately.  My first experiences with the bumper cars, I would get in, get ready and just go around.  The guy would always have to come and help me out.  A few times, embarrassingly enough, he would have to ride with me in the car.  This was my 2019.  I got into the car but a lot of the time I was going around sort of frantic and sort of figuring things out but definitely going in circles. 

Now, I when I think of 2020, I think of Justin Timberlake.  I think of his album 20/20 volume 1 and 2.  These are not my favorite but they include my favorite song of his, "Mirrors." There is that one line that says "Yesterday's history.  Tomorrow's a mystery." This line reminds me to be present.  You see, I spent a good portion of 2019 reflecting about what happened and wondering/worrying about what will happen.  I blinked and my children rose towering above me.  It was an instant that they seemed to have changed and I almost, almost missed it. 

I had to separate the Elle that I was with my husband to figure out the Elle I am without him.  I mean: "Do I like red lipstick or did I wear it because he liked me in red lipstick?"  I know what you are thinking, "Elle, come on!!!  You really don't know?"  I don't know if you're married or have ever been married but there are a hundred different compromises that you make because you don't mind and that change you.  I did this while going to school and working in a school.  I did this while trying to raise two children in tween and teen-hood.  I did this while trusting God to get everything done because I had figured out that I was on another level tired doing everything by myself instead of with someone else.  I had to learn to be alone. That is the part that is hard, Friends.

You don't think about this if you are with someone.  There is a permission to touch someone.  It is strange to just reach out your hand and hold someone else's.  Even now with my children, I go to pat their backs or rub their heads and sometimes, I am thwarted.  When you put your head on someone else's shoulder, this simple act of intimacy requires a matching up and acquiescence of time and space.  I will lean on my son's shoulder and I know that my time on that shoulder is limited, in more ways than one.  He will push me away past a minute.  I can feel it in the stiffness of his pose.  Try it, think of all of the ways you would have to ask for something that you take for granted.  I hope this allows you to be more grateful for what you have in the coming year.

I am thankful.  I have found words.  I think about how it all started, my excess of words.  I would complain about having too much to say and I would theorize why they were here.   They haven't left  me.  I continue to write.  I am going so far as to say that I am a writer.  You have no idea how happy I am in saying this.  I truly thought that I was left with nothing, but no, God in His infinite mercy left me with words.  I am thankful for you, Dear Reader as we enter into the new year.  Thank you for taking moments out of your day to read the hotter mess that I have before me.  And it's all a mess!!!  It is with this resolve that I plan to be an even bigger, hotter mess.  Let's see what God is going to do with it all.  As always, Praise the Lord!!!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Justin Timberlake

I was in the supermarket when I turned and saw the headline on the cover of a gossip magazine.  It was about Justin Timberlake.  If you know me, then you know that I am a Justin Timberlake fan.  It wasn't a good headline.  If I was famous, I'm sure I would have plenty of judgy headlines, so I'm not throwing any stones.  I'll stand by my man. 

I was always a Backstreet Boys fan.  I know that I was too old for boy bands... and I didn't care.  "As Long As You Love Me" was a top 40 hit when I met Santi.  He would take me to the Virgin Records in Times Square and I would listen to the song every time we passed which was most weeks.  He finally bought me the CD for Christmas.  So, I was definitely a BSB fan first and foremost.

When NSYNC came out, I was angry.  Who were these new Whippersnappers coming up trying to compete with my boys?  I didn't think of the blond curly haired one at all.  He looked like a Chia Pet but instead of green stems, he was growing ramen noodles.

But then... No Strings Attached came out.  Or maybe it was when they performed "I Thought She Knew" on TRL with none other than Carson Daly.  I just happened to catch the performance but it was the words that hooked me.  What clinched it was the 1st Latin Grammy Awards when I tuned in to watch Son by Four sing "A Puro Dolor" and heard the Spanish version of "This I Promise You" by NSYNC.  Hearing the two groups perform felt a little like falling in love.

Later, it was Justin's voice that called to me.  When Justified came out, his songs felt like he was singing right to me.  Santi understood that if I ever met Justin, I would just leave with him.  I told him, to pray that I never meet him.  It wasn't about how he looked, it was about his songs and how they made me feel, especially when I was having a hard time.  Justin seemed to understand me the way that I wanted to be understood.

When Santi died, and I went to Justin's concert with Cari, I cried hysterically when he sang, "Mirrors."  Cari laughed at me as tears streamed down my face.  It was the closest that I would ever get to Justin Timberlake.  Justin is to me is like the color pink.  They comfort me.  I have a neighbor who is a major Jon Bon Jovi fan.  This will be me in my old age.  Justin will be doing his shows and I will be attending.  He is part of who I am.  It's a thing.  I will continue to listen to his music and I'll know when I met a good guy when I meet someone who understands me the way Justin seems to understand me.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Gary The Third Part

Gary and I had a tentative romance of hand holding and kisses.  Gary played football.   We hung out and slowly, like a leak in a gallon of milk, the news of Gary and I seeped out into the school.  Ellie was "hanging out" with Gary.  I was a part of something.  I didn't know that he would give me an air of legitimacy.  I was a football player's girlfriend.  Like it or not, I had responsibilities.

Gary wanted me to go to one of his football games.  Friends went to the games.  I was missing and it was felt.  I finally agreed to escape on a Saturday and go to one of his games.  I had to get ready so I got to the game a little late.  I wasn't sure where to sit or what to do, luckily, I saw Tracy there.  She was able to tell me what was going on in the game once I got there.  I remember it clearly.  I followed his number.  He played offense.  He was a running back... Maybe.  I was never really good at football.  Well, there I am watching Gary play.  I am pretty sure he knew I was there.  I'm pretty loud.

On one play, he ran with the quarterback.  There was a fumble.  I saw as player after player fell upon one player.  Gary was taller than me but he was a slight guy.  I watched in horror as they all fell upon him.  I then watched in even more horror as one by one they peeled off of each other.  On the bottom of this mountain was Gary, laying on the bottom.  I never told him about the fear that encapsulated me as I watched his motionless body laying there on the field.  I held hands with Tracy and I hope that it wasn't just teenage angst and drama that had me with tears brimming on the corners of my darkly eyelined eyes.  When they called for the medic, I admit now, nearly forty years later that I was close to hyperventilating.

Do you see what happens?  In games?  They bring the medic out and in the camera, you can see the player get treated.  I didn't have the benefit of a camera. I only saw the grown up huddling around him.  I breathed a little deeper when I saw him make the effort to get up.  They wanted to put him on a stretcher.  He refused.  That's when I knew for sure that he knew I was there.  It took two people to help him off.  He limped off the field with minimal assistance.  They were going to take him to the emergency room.  I wouldn't see him.  I saw him when he waved to me slightly.  I don't know who won the game and truly I didn't care.  It was a groin injury.  I can't imagine the pain it took for him to insist on walking the length of the field because I was there.  Maybe there was a little love there.  The season was over for Gary.  He walked with a cane for a while.  After the game I took a picture of us.  I think it is the only picture of us together.  Gary, my hero.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Never Lose Hope

I think that I have been drifting.  Instead of living, I have been surviving. I don't know when it started happening.  I know that exhaustion is what started it.  Maybe it was when I got sick and I had trouble getting back to myself.  And then I forgot to hope.  And then it got ugly...

It's a balance.  I understand this. I need to balance my grief with joy; discipline with rest; love with caution.  I need to respect this balance in my life but it isn't always easy.  I think about trying to balance myself in yoga.  A little bit this way and I fall to the left; a little bit that way and I fall to the right.  Either way, I'm falling.  In looking back, I could sense when I was shifting.  It was that type of season.  Was it bad?  Was I depressed?  Did I cry?  Did I miss my husband?  My answer to all of these inquiries is: Yes.  I wasn't always in a funk.  I wasn't always crying.  It isn't like that.  I was tired.  I let the tiredness win.  When you get that tired, you think you will always be tired and you'll never feel rested again.  If you let it, then, there is a chance that you WILL never feel rested again. 

When I was pregnant with David and with Janet, I was so heavy.  It was so hard to walk.  I remember walking everywhere when I was younger and here I was heavy with baby and having trouble putting one foot in front of the other.  I remember being so sad because I was under the impression that I was never going to be able to walk normally again. I couldn't see it possible then.  I had my babies.  I was able to walk and run again.  It was only a season. 

I'm a happy person.  I have always been a happy person.  I bask in the faith and glory that I have God with me.  I am His daughter.  When I walk I walk conscious of the fact that I am the daughter of a King.  Not just any king, I am the daughter of the King of kings.  I think that if you look hard enough, you can see my crown.  I am not a spoiled daughter.  I am a soldier daughter who fights for her Father's Kingdom.  I don't stress because I remember that this life is too short to stress out about and I have a Father who rescues His children.  But for a moment, I forgot about this. 

I love the faith of children and princesses.  "Just you wait!!!  My Daddy will come and He will make mincemeat out of you!"   Princesses are never surprised when their Rescuers arrive.  For just a moment, I laid down and I said, "I will stay here."  I was scared to ever hope for anything again.  But then...

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures."  James 1: 17-18

I am saved!!!  In more ways than just one, in every way, I am saved!!!  And not only this, I am safe.  I know what you are thinking, "How did this happen, Elle?"  Easy, it happens so easily.  Keep your eyes on Dad, Kiddoes.  Remember what's important in this war.  And never lose hope.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

A Christmas Yes 2019

I don't know what I was expecting of Christmas 2019.  Last year, I was in a fog for part of the year and I didn't even realize I was in it till I was out of it.  Now, this year, I am trying to remember the traditions that we established last year.  You know what I remembered for sure?  That I was really bad at being traditional.

The Miller Christmases have never really been the same.  They vary depending on the circumstances and the climate.  One of our very first Christmases together, it was just Santi and myself.  I don't know what happened to my Christmas money that year but I bought him dishes because he didn't have any.  He was using disposable.  We had spaghetti and ate on Christmas plates because that was all that I could afford.  I don't even know what happened to those dishes...  

Some years we have ham.  Some years we have chicken and turkey.  I think that the thing that my kids like the most is Mom making food in the kitchen and then creating new decisions and having new things to do.  Which is why when Stephanie invited me over to her house for Christmas brunch, we said yes.  

It brings to mind a verse: 
Isaiah 43:18-19
"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." 

It's good to do new things.  It's raining in the desert now.  I am in Phoenix and we have been having rain.  Maybe there will be rivers in a desert.  God can do anything He wants.  Millers love our mornings.  We like to sleep in and wake up and open presents then hang out and just watch television to eat Christmas lunch/dinner in the afternoon.  Not today; we woke up early and prepared fruit for our friends.  We got dressed and there was no complaining.  We gladly got up and got ready to go visit with our friends.  With happy hearts, we broke tradition and did something new and different.  It was such a blessing.  Thank you Stephanie and Jake for bringing us into your home and celebrating with us the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am so happy.  We are so happy.  Praise the Lord!!!

Merry Christmas all!!!  Do something new.  Go out of your comfort zone!  You may find that is exactly where the Lord is leading you.  

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Frankie Brown

I don't know if I have the right to write about Frankie Brown.  She went home to be with Jesus last week.  She was an older woman.  I would think of her as a pillar, a pillar of the church and the community.  Her husband is Emery, Emery Brown.  I know that her mind was going.  It hit suddenly.  I remember the last time I saw her.  She was coming out of church.  Her and Emery always ate Wednesday night dinner and it was just getting dark as she was coming out of the education building.  I was exhausted.  I told her hello.  She didn't seem to remember me but she told me hello.  I didn't know that the last time would be the last time.  Isn't that always the case?

Today as the service ended, I made a beeline for the bathroom.  I saw him.  He was standing so tall.  I never realized how tall he was.  He was talking to the pastor.  I felt sparkly because of all of the Christmas Carols.  I told him, "I'm so sorry for your loss." I saw it then.  I saw that look of utter bewilderment.  Emery had a Frankie sized hole in his heart and in his life.  He said, "You've been through this too."  He saw me.  He saw me as a co-survivor.  It was at that time I remembered.  "Is it a long road?"  Never one for lies I said, "It is.  It is a long road."  I should have lied.  I don't know what made me say it.  I hate to lie.  Maybe it was just that I had to go to the bathroom.  I saw the words linger in the air as I ran away.  In my heart I told him that he's not alone.  I'm walking with him.  I know his pain.  I also told him that God was with us.

I remember Frankie.  She was honest and sweet.  She was so loving in a way that only Frankie could be.  Frankie and Emery Brown were a mega couple.  I had to think about it when I got the message that Frankie went home.  Frankie Brown?  It's hard to think of Frankie without Emery and vice versa. I always think of them together. I always thought of them together.  I pray for strength for his widower's heart.  I'm praying for him now.

Dear God,

Thank you for the gift that was Frankie Brown.  Thank you for her humor and her love.  Thank you for her honesty and faithfulness both to her husband, the church and the community.  I pray for Emery.  I pray for strength and wisdom for him.  I pray that when the numbness fades and the pain hits so hard that he remembers You, Oh God.  Thank You, Dear God for Your solace, compassion, mercy and love toward us, Your children.


Friday, December 20, 2019

The Christmas Spirit

It didn't hit really.  My first wave of Christmas had me singing Mariah Carey's "Miss You Most (At Christmas Time).  I'll copy the lyrics with notes below.  Suffice it to say that I was not feeling Christmassy.  Last year, I was remaking Christmas for my children.  This year, I have been dragging my feet and not remembering the traditions I fought so hard to establish last year. 

Today on the first day of vacation, for the first time in a very long time.  I am partly caught up on some work at the job.  Today I am released for vacation and it has dawned on me.  I'm off.  I'm on vacation officially. 

I think the spirit (Holy Spirit) has been slowly eking itself into my bloodstream slowly.  My small group prayed over me and I have felt thankful at the longevity of the Jesus story through out the Bible.  The hospitality of friends and families that have invited my children and me into their lives.  I want to shout out Amelia, who talked of hospitality and who invited me to her beautiful home for a cookie exchange.  I didn't bring any cookies but I left with some.  There were some that was gluten-free even.  She doesn't know this but as we sang Christmas Carols, happily; I was so thankful.  Amelia took a moment to show me physically what grace is.  How much more is God's grace!!!

My husband was a friend to Amelia's husband, Joshua or vice versa.  I thought of this as I drove home last night from Amelia's cookie exchange.  I thought about how Dr. Greever prayed at Santi's memorial.  When I asked him, he said that he would be honored. Their combined kindnesses was before me.  I felt... warmed. I could see Santi talking with Joshua after church in my mind.  He had friends.  He was loved. 

My son put up the tree.  He put it up and put the decorations on.  I bought the candy canes.  We found a 2019 ornament.  We took pictures.  With all of the candles lit, I could finally feel the Christmas Spirit.  God is so good to me.

The fire is burning
The room's all aglow
Outside the December wind blows
Away in the distance
The carolers sing in the snow
Everybody's laughing
The world is celebrating
And everyone's so happy
Except for me tonight
Because I miss you
Most at Christmas time
And I can't get you
Get you off my mind
Every other season comes along
And I'm all right
But then I miss you
Most at Christmas time
I gaze out the window
This cold winter's night
At all of the twinkling lights
Alone in the darkness
Remembering when you were mine
Everybody's smiling
The whole world is rejoicing
And everyone's embracing
Except for you and I
Baby I miss you
Most at Christmas time
And I can't get you
Get you off my mind
Every other season comes along
And I'm all right
But then I miss you
Most at Christmas time
In the springtime
Those memories start to fade
With the April rain
Through the summer days
Till autumn's leaves are gone
I get by without you
Till the snow begins to fall
And then I miss you
Most at Christmas time
And I can't get you
Get you off my mind
Every other season comes along
And I'm all right
But then I miss you
Most at Christmas time

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Gary The Second Part

Gary, my high school boyfriend, and I put a pin in it during the summer between junior year and senior year.  On the first day for homeroom I sat by my friends, Tracy and Odalys.  They sat on the last row of the two people lab benches.  I sat in front of them. Homerooms were organized by last names.  Gary and I had the same letter for our last name.  Homeroom was in Ms. Keane's Chemistry class.  I asked who was sitting in the space next to me but they didn't tell me.  When the bell rang, it was my guy, Gary who came and sat next to me.  He asked me if it was cool.  I was flattered and happy about it.  Man, if we broke up we would have a horrible senior year.

As the girlfriend of a football player, the big day was coming...the Pep Rally for Homecoming.  I looked forward to this.  I would get to wear my guy's football jersey and cheer on Gary as he ran into the gym.  For me, this meant validation.  The week coming up to the pep rally, I was in homeroom and I waited for Gary to come in.  I asked him about the jersey.  You know what he told me!!!  He told me that he already promised his jerseys to other people!!!  I demanded to know who he promised his jerseys to.  He has more than one.  Gary had promised his jerseys to Tracy and Odalys.  Now, we were all friends and everything but I could not believe that he had given away my rightful jersey to  my friends!!!  I was so mad!!!

Well, I didn't know it was such a big deal.  On Pep Day, I decided to stay as far away from homeroom as possible.  I was hoping that I wouldn't be there when he gave Tracy and Odalys the jerseys.  As I walked around the school, I got stopped.  Where's the jersey?  I really didn't have an answer.  I didn't have it and I wouldn't be wearing it.  The wimp in me wanted to go to the bathroom and cry.  I didn't.  I pretended I didn't care.

Finally the bell rang.  I went to homeroom.  I expected Tracy and Odalys to be wearing the jerseys already.  They weren't.  In comes Gary with a bag.  Even now I'm rolling my head.  You didn't give them out yet!!!  No.  He was so calm.  He said, "This one is for Odalys."  I didn't care, it was his Freshman jersey.  "This one is for Tracy."  I didn't care.  But then... he pulled out a third jersey, "And this one is for you."  The most romantic thing that has happened to me before my twenties.  Ms. Keane yelled at me when I squealed and hugged him.  It was worth it.  I didn't wait.  I put on the jersey on right away.

You know how peacocks walk around?  I was like a peacock... all day long.  The floor?  What was that? I walked on a cloud.  When Gary ran in to the gym, there was no one who yelled louder.  I got to wear the jersey home.  I washed the jersey by hand with mild detergent and fabric softener.  I dried it by hanging and when it was dried I folded it and put it in a nice bag and brought it back to Gary.  I wouldn't know it but Gary was one of the good guys.  More on Gary later...

Monday, December 16, 2019


I met Cari about 10 years ago.  She was my friend.  After the birth of her son, Jack, she found out that she had breast cancer.  Jack is 8 years old.  She fought for about 8 years.  Then she lost her fight.  She went home the same year my other best friend went home.  I lost two of them the same year.  It was a rough year. 

Last year, my friend, Anja and the rest of the staff at Maya sponsored Cari and me to go to the Justin Timberlake concert.  It was such a blessing!!!  We laughed.  We danced.  We enjoyed our time together.  I loved Cari.  With her, she cut through the niceties and met me where I am all the time, where the truth is.  She didn't have to be nice with me around. 

Benjamin and David are the same age.  Janet and Johnny are the same age and Jack... Jack is the the baby.  I guess you can say that Jack is shared.  Cari and I raised our children together.  We went to Repticon together.  John stayed away from gluten.  If I was someplace, she would put aside gluten free treats for me.  We talked of IEPs and teaching. 

I spoke at her memorial.  I talked about the day that Santi died.  I told her not to come over to the house.  She didn't listen.  She came with a van full of groceries.  I was a mess.  The house was a mess.  Cari came into my mess.  She didn't care about messes.  She knew that we are all messes saved by grace.  This whole blog is sort of a memorial to her.  We admitted to each other that we are both bad  parents, bad wives and hot messes saved by the wonderful grace of Jesus.  We were real to each other and I miss her acutely but for God and His infinite grace...

I live on with pieces of Cari with me.  She was a light and she leaves a legacy of laughter and love even when it is beyond hard to hold on.  I think of her often.  I think of her strength and courage.  The last thing she told me was in the church's Thanksgiving.  She knew that she was going to go home soon.  We were singing.  We were all singing.  I was singing with my harmony.  She said, "You have such a pretty voice.  But soon, I'll be able to sing better than you."  I told her.  I told her to tell James that I missed him.  I told her to tell him that I loved him.  Oh Cari, until we meet again, Friend.  Until then...

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Looking Forward

As I look forward to the coming of a new year, I think of all the possibilities that lay before me.  You guys know that I am planning on selling my house.  To that end, I have not been "collecting" as much as before.  Yes, I confess to continuing my ipsy collection but that is because I like getting the pink package in the mail.  Let's call it my Christmas and Birthday gifts to myself that comes all year long.  I'm so spoiled!!!

I want to laugh more this upcoming year.  I want to be done with my schooling.  I want to make more memories with my kidlets.  My plan is to be less tired.  This will require more veggies and more water and less coffee.  Wish me luck with the less coffee stuff.  Nutrition and exercise can affect you.  It can affect your walk with God.  I got that from my friend, Craig (who is going to Texas to be a chaplain!!!).  So... remember always that God has a good plan for you.  Believe in God's promises for you.  I will remember too.  I look forward to telling you about my holidays and the plans for 2020.  Thank you for reading and God bless.

Friday, December 13, 2019

The Perils of Overthinking

I tend to overthink.  I dig deep into reasoning and at times, it paralyzes me.  I have been accused of over thinking so many times.  "You think too much."  I can hear it.  They tell me this as if this is a bad thing.  My overthinking has helped me so much throughout the years.  I feel that it has been better to overthink than to not do enough thinking.

Today as I was driving home, I saw brilliant pink clouds that looked like brushstrokes.  I drove in the glow of a beautiful pink sky.  On the radio was the music of an acoustic guitar playing a Christmas Carol.  I didn't care about the traffic.  I didn't care about the work that awaits me.  For a moment, I sat and didn't overthink, didn't worry.  I just sat and was thankful.  I felt the cup of my heart running over.  "God is good."  I whispered to myself.  This is happy.  I miss all of this as I think; making plans and running on empty.  Not today, today I enjoyed a perfect sunset moment.  Do yourselves a favor.  Take a moment and don't overthink!!!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Gary The First Part

I really don't know if I can write about this.  I work in a high school.  I think that the kids want to know about how I was when I was a kid their age.  Every now and again, I tell them stories.  You should know that the way that I remember things is not necessarily the truth.  I love Gary stories because the way that I remember him is happy.  I only have wonderful Gary stories from high school.  So if you know Gary or you remember us differently, please don't tell me.  I want these stories to stay the way I remember them.  Writer's prerogative!!!

Now, you don't know this but there is every possibility that I was the tiniest bit boy crazy when I was in high school.  I didn't have any... game.  I'm still clueless when it comes to men, things don't change.  Well... I may have to tell you the Robert story at some point but this one is about Gary.  That's his real name.  I won't mention his last name.  Yes, I went to high school with him. 

It started in Mrs. Torres class.  She taught Junior English... I think.  I don't remember when I had her, before lunch but not first period.  I think I had her third period.  I was sitting here when in pencil, I saw a "Hi" on the desk.  I wrote back.  I think I wrote it back.  I don't advocate for desk writing.  The next day there was another response.  I left one.  It was fun.  It was a little like message in a bottle.  There was mystery.  We ended up leaving notes to each other.  I had no idea who I was writing to.  After some back and forth, he found out who I was and I found out it was Gary, one of the guys on the football team. 

Gary came to me before class frantic one day to ask me if I would lend him John Gardner's Grendel. My dad would buy all of the books I needed for the year at the beginning of the year so I had all of the books I needed for the year.  He didn't have the book and wanted to borrow it from me  I was reluctant because I was worried that it would disappear by the time I got the book back.  He insured that I would have the book.  I went to class and I found the book.  When we opened it, I saw the message.  Gary thanked me for lending him the book.  I was OVER THE MOON.  He was soooo cute.  He had dimples. That's how it all started.  Gary was one of the good ones.  I'll tell you more about Gary as I go along.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Not Getting the Man

When my son was a toddler, he was prone to tantrums.  I called my Titi Lily.  The only thing she had to tell me was that  was NOT prone to tantrums.  The insinuation was that David didn't get it from me.  I love the loyalty of my family.  I still had a tantrum issue.

I knew that the origin was founded in a lack of communication.  I then found that the issues would occur in stores and circled around things that he wanted but was denied.  I would have a tantrum too!!!  I understood some of it.  He didn't understand why we would buy him what he wanted in the Dollar store but when he wanted something from Walmart that was much much more, he didn't get it.  We decided that until he understood, we wouldn't buy him anything from anywhere.  Purchases made for him would take place when he was not around.  We had disclaimers.  "David, we are going into this store but you are not getting anything."  He would nod.  He understood.  This didn't make it easier.  He would turn to me.  "I like this car.  This is a nice car."  "Yes, it is."  Such a sweet tableau!!!  Then he would say with marked vehemence, "We are NOT buying this car!"  People all around would look at him with strange gazes.  I looked like the bad parent that would not buy her son a car.  It was worth it.  David eventually learned the value of money. 

I am happily writing this post.  Went to Bible study today.  I looked at my life.  Did you know I have an amazing church community and my pastor, associate pastor and probably most of the elders know me by name?  You don't know this but I have amazing friends all over the place.  I have a friend, so dear, who I went to high school with and I call her my own personal Blanquita, who encourages me through messages.  I love her. Blessing after blessing.  I have been walking around telling myself, "I am going to be single."  I bought pizza with my kids.  I agreed to some holiday events.  I'm booked. I didn't have to consult with a single person.  Yay!  This single stuff has its upsides!!!  I just have to continue to remind myself that I am not getting the man and I'll be okay.  LOL!!!

In Walmart-- I'm not getting a man.
Driving in the rain to a Glitter and Glow-- Not getting a man.
Eating the whole pizza-- Not getting a man. 
Reading late into the night-- Not getting a man. 
Drinking wine while watching Bones-- No man for me.
Playing solitaire-- Not a man
Wrapping Christmas present-- No man
Watching romantic movies--  All by myself. 
All by myself-- No man but I DO have one amazing Savior and He is with me.  I'm not getting a man.  I already have a Savior.  So... I'm good.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Taking the Bra Off

I'm not trying to be crass so I apologize right off of the bat if you are offended.  I'll explain. Usually on the weekdays, I get dressed, put on my foundation undergarment and go about my day.  When I get home AND I know that I'll stay home, I take off of the foundation undergarment to signal that I am home for the night.  You may not know this but I am, at this moment, disclosing a piece of female psychology.  Once the bra is off, we are home for the night.  Even on Sunday, when I am going to take a nap and I am going to go back out, the foundation undergarment stays on. 

I have been dating, sort of.  I think I'm sort of hoping to date.  This is what happens.  Because no one meets organically anymore, I'm on these lousy dating apps.  A guy shows that he likes your profile or you show that you like a guy's profile and then there is the possibility of a chat.  Then your chat game has to be on point because if not then you end up falling into a chat hole, a conversational lull in the chat conversation. It's hard to come back from that.  These attempts at connection then become part of your trophy line.  I don't care for trophies. 

When I first started dating, way back in June, I met this guy that I never met.  His name was Steve.  I never met him but we got to talking and he gave me advice.  He really wanted to meet.  I didn't understand why.  He said that it was tedious meeting someone, making a connection, however tenuous, then having it fail to start over again.  I didn't understand but I understand now.  Steve was right.  It is tedious. 

Today I was talking to Esther and we were talking about when and how to stop.  It was hard to explain to her.  I had to use the bra analogy.  I'm waiting and hoping but soon, I'll stop and I'll take off my foundation undergarment and make my way as a single person.  I'll buy a single bed to replace my queen size one.  I'll downsize my life and I will start to live a single life.

Here is something that I will confess as I think about it all.  I'm scared.  I'm scared of loneliness.  I'm scared of losing my job and then losing everything.  It's hard to be the only one.  I was hoping to have someone to walk on this road with but it's late afternoon and there is every chance that I am not going to go anywhere without a bra so... This fear has me creating an idol, an idol of love.  Man, that was hard to write!!!  In my many imaginings, I haven't pictured myself on my own. 

Proverbs 3:24-25
"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.  Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught."

Matthew 6:33-34
"But seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

Okay, Elle, don't be afraid!!!  Trust in God and just be happy living my life as it is.  Praise God!!!!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Ups and Downs

I was sick last week.  It felt like I was never going to climb out of this ill feeling.  It wasn't just about being down for the count.  It had to do more about a feeling of malaise.  It felt like I was never going to feel better again.  Are dementors from Harry Potter real?  I was understanding the sensation of never feeling better again.  So dramatic!!!! 

I'll tell you what worked better than chocolate for me.  Carbs!!!  I had gluten free everything bagels with cream cheese.  I listened to some Christian music.  As the fever subsided and the medicine worked on the aches and pains, I felt myself better.  I was on the floor and fallen but I got up again.  Proverbs 24:16 says, "For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity." 

It's Christmas.  I haven't put up the tree yet.  Don't tell me that I am the only one!!!  I started buying the presents.  This has given me a modicum of happiness as I love to shop and I love the people that I am buying gifts for.  I am happy because I am choosing to remember that despite any bad things that may be happening in my life, or in any body's life, I want to remember that God is with me.  Good or bad, up or down, sometimes up and down, I am not alone and God is with me wherever I go.  If that's not enough to make you happy then I don't know what to tell you.  Praise God!!!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

My Lost Love Of Reading

 I am changing.  I can feel it.  I think I understand what I want.  I think I am understanding what I have lost.  In my house there used to be always music.  Now, all I hear is silence and I don't know how to get the music back.  I used to have an IPod.  It was stolen when I had some work done on the house.  On there were... not songs, or rather, not just songs.  They were memories.  I feel as if when they stole the IPod, they stole the music from my house and I have not the compulsion to collect songs again.  Instead I listen to what I can hear in the silence.  The desert is quiet.  There are not as many trees.  Not the kind of trees that sway and make rustling sounds in the wind.  There is not a lot of ambient noises here.  I don't live far from an airport so right now I hear the sounds of a small plane going off somewhere.  I play this Solitaire app and on it there is a Fall tournament that has the sounds of rustling trees and the wind.  I wrap myself with a blanket because just the sound makes me chilly.  I miss things.  I miss him.  But I think I also miss myself.

I used to read.  I thought of myself as a reader.  It was something that I loved.  I read voraciously.  I read everything and anything I could get my hands on.  I loved stories.  I love the way that stories unfolded.  I would have told you that stories were my passion.  I have not been reading.  I stop myself sometimes and tell myself that I have other things to do.  I start reading a book and I can't finish it and it takes me a long time to finish.  On the books that I have read, I have noted that I am more critical in my reviews of them.  I was reading a book.  It's a children's book about a girl suffering the loss of her sister.  Her mother is depressed and her grandfather is aging.  She starts becoming a shopaholic to belong.  This leads to a whole hosts of other problems.  I got a quarter of the way through the book.  I have spent months trying to read it.  It's not a long book, it's short but I could not do it.  I have found that I have lost my love of reading and I don't know who I am now.  I am not the reader.

Can losing your husband cause all this trouble?  I am moving forward, but in what direction?  I am in the center of a circle just looking around.  There are so many changes that have happened without me even thinking about it.  When did I start wearing Skechers?  When did I start getting old?  I can see it in the mirror.  When did I start cooking all of the time?  What happened to my appetite?  Why can't I read?  I have been waking up.  I didn't even know I was sleeping.

Today I sat in my bed and I decided that if I couldn't read the book on my nightstand, then I would pick another book to read.  Maybe I need to read stupid books for a while until I can fall in love with reading again.  Today I told myself that I am still a reader.  Today I may have to find all of my favorite books and reread them until I am okay with reading again.  I may have to get Lasik surgery because my eyes are definitely going.  But I will read again!!!  Hopefully...  I am not willing to give up on being a reader yet.  I'll tell you how it goes.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

To Be Known

I was teaching today.  I was teaching about the ability to finish things and this sensation came upon me.  I wanted to be known.  Relax, not Biblically known, just regular known.  Maybe I need to be seen.  Is this what it means to want attention?  Is this what it means to crave attention?  Have I always been this way?  I must have because I have social media.  I take selfies and post them with my children.  I have a blog, a vlog and I post.  I am a narcissist. 

What would I like to be known for?  Would I like to be known for my beauty?  Maybe I would like to be known for my smarts?  You may not know this but I'm a pretty good singer.  Should I be known for my talent?  Maybe the secret wish is to be known for my writing.  Of course, I would love to be known for my love of Jesus.  That goes without saying. 

I thought about the words that I would leave this world.  I thought about this idea of legacy.  I am, after all, the legacy of my parents.  I think of them and their thoughts about me.  I want to honor them still.  I keep on thinking of how I continue to represent them, because I do.  I will work on what I want to say to the world.  But there is this internal need of wanting to be seen, of wanting to be known. 

I Corinthians 8:2-3 states, " If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.  But if anyone loves God, he is known by God."  This is all me.  I want to imagine that I know something, something to talk about.  Apparently, I don't know what I need to know.  I love God and He knows me.  This should be enough for me.  God knows me.  Maybe, just maybe, that's enough.