When life dealt me a crushing blow, I felt myself shatter. For five years, the trauma weighed heavy on my heart and shards of myself imploded and littered my path like loose sequins falling off a pretty dress. The sharp edges pierced my every step. I didn’t know which direction to turn. Each way seemed scary and treacherous. How much more could I bleed? When I tried to pick up the pieces in order to clear my way forward, they sliced my tender skin anew.
Finally, I realized I couldn’t clean up the mess by myself.
Reaching out for help…
For years, Lake Michigan beaches, nearby ski resorts, and majestic sunsets have drawn my husband, Sam, and I to Northwest Michigan. The quaint shops, fabulous restaurants, and scenic drives add to the allure, but nothing gave me a bigger thrill than fingering Ernest Hemingway’s hole.
Sam and I wandered into City Park Grill in Petoskey for a late afternoon lunch and a couple of cocktails. We sat at the empty bar. It was late-Autumn, after the colorful leaves had already fallen — a lull in tourism until the snow falls.
The middle-aged bartender made our drinks as I admired the…
I met Tommy in Ann Arbor at a place where broken people went to get fixed.
I had a few dents and scratches that were easily buffed and smoothed out.
Tommy needed his engine changed.
We got to know each other between treatments. There wasn’t an attraction between us, instead it was an instant friendship. I knew I’d stumbled across one of my people, a long-lost member of my tribe.
He felt it, too. Our paths crossed for a reason. This wasn’t random.
He was wickedly witty and intelligent.
He was also an alcoholic.
And he was homeless.
My uncle called me a few weeks before Christmas on a Wednesday night.
“My church is having some inspirational speakers and music tonight. It’s the Catholic equivalent of a revival.” He chuckled. “Afterward, there’s going to be several priests hearing confessions. Wanna go?”
I made a face. “Sure.” I didn’t have anything else to do. His church was a couple towns over from mine.
I was in the midst of what I call “My Dark Years”. Five solid years of trauma, grief, fear, and depression. I wasn’t suicidal, but I was not treating myself very well. …
It wasn’t the first time I had come to talk to this priest. We’d met privately a couple times before. I was going on my fifth consecutive year of pain, fear, and misery. There was no end in sight.
I clung to my torso with my arms crossed as if giving myself a much-needed hug. My ribs stuck out. I was malnourished — both nutritionally and spiritually.
Depression had a way of dulling hunger pains and twisting my stomach into a knot of hopelessness and grief. I wasn’t suicidal, but if something “happened” to me, I wouldn’t have cared. Maybe…
When Darcy was a child, she learned to be polite. When visiting friends and relatives, her mother instructed her to accept what was offered with a spirit of gratitude. “If they hand you iced tea, thank them and drink it. It doesn’t matter if you really wanted lemonade.”
Darcy grew up believing she had to please others before herself. That’s how respectable young ladies did things. Her affluent family was very respectable, and she didn’t want to be a disgrace.
She received her degree in nursing, even though she couldn’t stand the sight of blood, sick people, or stranger’s bodily…
I was raised Catholic and was a really good one in the beginning, when I was too young to commit a serious sin. When I turned ten, I was convinced I would become a nun, picturing myself as a badass martyr like Joan of Arc or a modest girl like Saint Therese, “The Little Flower.”
Then, I discovered boys and realized none of that was going to happen.
I rolled with it, but my grandma didn’t take it so well. She had eleven children and was banking on getting a priest or a nun out of one of them.
In the fall of 2016, the spark between Sam and I ignited. We hadn’t seen each other in over two decades, and finally confessed the torch we had carried for each other all those years ago. The intensity of our relationship grew quickly, making up for the time that had already wafted away.
By December, we were aglow with the embers of new love.
Sam, an avid skier, wanted to share his passion with me.
Fueled by the heat of our new romance, Sam went all out. He outfitted me with everything I’d need. Pooh-poohing my objections to his extravagance…
“You’re dead to me,” he said with empty eyes, his wide shoulders filling up most of the door frame.
“No,” I choked out, then sucked in a deep gulp of air. “Please, no!”
In a reckless act of rebellion, I had taken off for the weekend to attend my sister’s out-of-state baby shower, ignoring his warnings and undercurrent of hostility.
He didn’t like to be ignored. Nor did he appreciate me running off to Chicago instead of staying in town to attend his grandfather’s funeral. He felt I should have been at his side.
“You made your decision, now you…
Taos and Carson National Forest are bracing for thousands of visitors coming in from all over the world for the 2021 Annual Rainbow Family Gathering. Since 1972, the Rainbow Family of Living Light gathers in a different United States national forest from July 1st — 7th. Banners and signs read: Welcome Home!
On the Fourth of July, everyone gathers in a sacred meadow and remains silent until noon while they meditate and pray for world peace. They believe humans of all races and genders are interconnected as a family of one.