Category Archives: Dawn

241 years

Two hundred and forty one years ago today the last of the signatories signed the Declaration of Independence.  Those brave men and women (non signatories but just as involved) started the greatest experiment in freedom this planet has ever seen.

This is by far my favorite holiday.  It is the day when mankind finally took a distinct step out of the millenia of poverty and misery to boldly proclaim the right to economic, religious and personal freedom from tyranny.  The right to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness….

We have come so far since then, and that is not in a good way.

I have a feeling today with be the last of my fun days for a while.  Much like our country, my life is not running on track currently.  Unlike, my country the problems in my personal life will resolve themselves.  I have a recently failed relationship that weighs heavily on my heart.  The anniversary of my marriage with Dawn is 17 days away and that weighs heavily as a reminder of opportunities lost.  The one year anniversary of my Earthly loss of my wife is 16 days after that.  I am dreading that in ways I can’t even consciously understand.

The good news is Independence Day is an amazing uplifting day for me, so it will help boost my spirits going into what will be a terribly vicious 30+ days.  But as they say, the things that don’t kill you, make you stronger.  So I am expecting to be one strong bastard in September.  Be forewarned… and if possible be a little forgiving of my more than usual gruffness and a bit of haunted in my eyes.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Dawn, personal

http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bs-hs-cancer-trigger-20170625-story.html

…why I get so furious when I allow my mind to wander through the door of malfeasance.

Two Doctors in Miami had the right approach.  Aizik Wolf and Beatriz Amendola.  Both of them saw our ability to fight cancer as being good but still pretty barbaric.  They both very actively spent money and time to stay on the forefront of their chosen areas as well as staying abreast on advances in other disciplines.  Their theory was, do whatever it takes to keep the patient alive and as healthy as possible SO THAT they can benefit from the new REVOLUTIONARY things that come every 5-8 years.

The above is a REVOLUTIONARY thing if it pans out.  Even if it only shows a third of its promise, that buys time for the next great unraveling.

Then their are self centered bastards who refuse to refer outside their own little petty fiefdom.  Those who hide behind “standard of care” so bringing a successful lawsuit is tough, even when you KNOW they did not act in the best interest of the patient.  When you KNOW they acted in the best interest of their AMG Mercedes payment.

Chemotherapy, one of the few drugs where the prescribing doctor profits on the drug prescribed, directly.  Something lie 40% of the cost of chemo is prescribing doctor profit.  HMMM.

I will stop here before my rant really gets going.  But know that I know.  Know that many other people are starting to know.  Know that God and Satan know.  One is shamed, the other is stoking coals for your soul.

 

Leave a comment

June 20, 2017 · 12:33

Unilateral

One definition or at least aspect-

Love:      a unilateral decision to put the welfare of someone else in front of / above your own

Best when served bilaterally, but each must make the unilateral decision.

 

I have another thought on love.

True, real love does not die.  In the aspect I am talking about today, I do not refer to the death of the partner, rather… I am referring to the “falling out out love” syndrome.

The only way love can “die” even in that scenario, is if both people give up their unilateral decision.  I know this to be true from experience.  Dawn married someone else.  She worked consciously to kill off her love for me.  Loving me while married to someone else is not proper (among other things).

I had no such desire and had no such reason to do so.  I did not give up my love of her.  When her life crumbled around her, she needed help.  My unilateral decision had wavered, but it still stood.  That was the bridge that allowed communication.

A few weeks after we began talking again, I was driving her to an appointment and we had the radio on as background noise.

This song came on.

 

She lost it.  So did I.  That was the true beginning or our walk back into the bright light of LOVE.

Don’t let your love get to this place.  But, if it does.  If there is breath, there is hope.  If there is hope, there is love.  If there is love, the entire world can be moved.  My world moved that day.  My hope is it will move again that way.

Leave a comment

Filed under book, Dawn, personal, Uncategorized

Love or fear

As the few of you who read my blog know, my wife and I shared a deep binding love.  We stoked that love daily, which was a simple thing with the specter of cancer looming large in the background.  But that is not the aspect of love I want to discuss today.

As you all also know, I recently found a new love and I had it explode in my hands.

Both of those experiences have shown me a common thread and that is what I would like to share with you today.

Fear.  Yes, the common thread is fear.

I know you ask, how did we get here from love? That is a very valid question and like most things involving love, it is not a simple answer.  Not to mention, I don’t have a complete answer.  But, I will give it a go none the less.

One definition of love, is a lack of fear.  When you choose love you choose make your self vulnerable.  You are choosing to wrap yourself in the armor of love, knowing that in doing so you expose yourself completely to the one you love.  True love conquers fear completely.  In choosing love, you make a conscious decision to reject fear.  A strong love is not subject to any real fear.

Think on that for a while.

Some examples:

In loving your child, you accept the knowledge and risk that they will be hurt.  You know  they will intentionally cause you pain (the teen years).  Your love supersedes the pain no matter how directly and intentionally they harm you.  The nurturing love looks beyond the moment.  It looks back to the days when they were first learning to walk, when they were first learning to speak, when they were innocent in their love of you.  It also looks forward to the day when you won’t be such a boring stick in the mud, but once again will be a source of wisdom and a touchstone.  Sometimes you have to actively remind yourself of these things, but that love conquers the fears of today.

With your partner / your spouse that love is a little different; but it is mostly the same.  You chose that person and you have built a life with them.  You have intertwined your feelings, finances and your love.  They are a part of you.  You are a part of them.  The love is blind to the division as in many respects, you are one.  A person can no more not love their partner than they can not love their right hand.  Love conquers the fears of daily living.

Things are a little different here as the betrayal of a child is usually just youth needing to assert its independence and can be seen through that lens.  With a partner / spouse, betrayal is a much deeper cut.  Whether the betrayal is financial, sexual or whatever, the covenant is broken.  Something within the armor of love has attacked.  This attack has no defense and thus strikes home deeply and completely.  That is why this betrayal cuts so deeply.

As I stated earlier; love, in many ways is an absence of fear.

Betrayal creates fear.  Fear is a pernicious enemy.  It is like flowing water, looking for the lowest point and works to infiltrate any crack.  Fear will run cold and freeze, shattering the existing cracks.  Fear finds anger and turn to a scalding steam.  If fear is allowed to grow, love diminishes.  With enough unchecked fear, loves armor crumbles.

When a partner is the source of fear.  When their actions continue to reinforce a pattern of betrayal, fear will be the death of the relationship.  No sane person will choose, is capable of choosing to share armor with their attacker.  As horrible as the death of love is, sometimes it is the only, best choice.  Dawn fought fear for at least 15 years in her first marriage.  She learned way too late how much damage that did to herself and her children.  In the end, she stood without love, without armor and had only succeeded in facilitating her betrayer’s assault on those she loved.

We had very direct and frank discussions on this aspect of love.  I knew intimately the damage created in that situation.  She sought professional help.  In this way, she healed those areas so they would not contaminate our marriage.

We both worked very diligently to always mend the armor of our love.  I intentionally say mend.  Dawn occasionally damaged our love.  More often, I damaged our love.  We each instilled fearful moments in the other.  We are both human and fully capable of failing.  The difference was, we were focused on each other and any hurt to the other hurt ourself even more.  That aspect of our love made it impossible to intentionally hurt the other.

We also had one great advantage over most couples.  Every single day of our marriage, we faced a true fear.  We faced a fear much larger than any fear either of us could create between us.  We faced the looming jackal of cancer.  Every single day she had to face the fact that her own body was likely to betray her.  Every single day, I had to face the fear that I would likely be honoring her greatest wish. To die in my arms and it would not likely be terribly far in the future.

The shadow of that fear gave us great perspective.  It made our love much more like the love for a child.  We were forced to look at the big picture every single day and that gave us easy access to grace.  Many times we would visibly pause in our hurt, look at the looming shadow and extend grace to the other.  In seeing that grace extended, the recipient would be equally honored and shamed as they too looked at the shadow and accepted the grace.  In every such incident, that shadow reinforced the futility of selfishness, anger and petty fear.

In my most recent relationship, thankfully that shadow did not loom.  But in not having that shadow.  In not having that shared enemy, we allowed cracks to form.  There were other shadow that loomed in the background.  There were other forces that tickled the tendrils of fear.  Those tendrils fed.  Fear found cracks and rooted in place.  Well meaning people saw that fear and stoked it into anger.  That anger flashed into steam and our love was scalded.

Anyone who has ever been scalded, knows the immediate reaction to that is more fear and a quick retreat.

As a former Chef and as someone who has buried my spouse.  I have been scalded both actually and metaphorically, many times.  I know that a scalding can be a cleansing moment that results in tender fresh skin or a deeply painful a incident that leaves behind tough mangled skin.  As one who has been frequently scalded, I tend to bandage it up and go back to the complete the task, hoping that with action and work the skin will heal flexible and resilient.

In this moment, the bandages are still on the wound.  The prognosis is still too early to predict.  I am hopeful, but must admit that I see the stains of fear on the dressings. Not to mention my partner does not seem to be addressing the wound.

Fear is the enemy.  Ignore fear at your own peril.  Fear must be faced and directly attacked.  With the armor of love it is much easier, but even if that armor fails you must continue the fight or that tough mangled skin will repel the seeds of future love.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cancer, Dawn, personal, Uncategorized

Fighting by letting go

I am watching American Sniper tonight.

I am doing work and doing some other things, but I am watching American Sniper in the background.  I have seen the movie before.

The scene that really got me tonight:

Chris comes into the kitchen with the Single Action revolver drawn and plays Wyatt Earp with his wife.  She laughs and is genuinely happy.  She comes over and tells him so.  She says, “I am so happy to have my husband back.  I know how hard you fought to get back.”

He smiles at her and says, “you, are worth fighting for.”

One of the few regrets in my life, is that I never served in the military.  In no way do I compare myself to any soldier, their sacrifice or to Chris Kyle’s story.  But, in watching that moment; I am brought to that moment in each relationship where things have turned to shit and we make a decision.  We decide if the other person and the relationship are worth fighting for.

That has happened many times in my life.  I usually choose to fight.

Exactly once so far, my fighting has for it paid off, BIG.  Way more than once, have I made that decision and failed.  Some would say, I should have stopped risking.  If I had, I never would have known an amazing marriage.  Some would say that now that it paid off once, I should stop.  Something about lightning and striking twice…  Some would even say that the one time it paid off, it really didn’t.  Those people don’t get a chance to speak to me again.

Call me a crazy romantic.  Call me an insane masochist.  Call me what you like.  When the person is worth it; when the relationship is worth it… I have to … fight… for… it.  It is hardwired in my DNA.

But sometimes the hardest fight is letting go.  Sometimes the best thing for everyone is letting go.  I find myself having to do a lot of letting go this past year.  I hate letting go.  It tastes like failure to me.

Today, the thing that allows me to swallow that bitter pill… the one thing…I let go of a relationship in late 2007 and met Dawn.  Then I let Dawn go, back in the middle of 2009.

 

For those who don’t know.  Dawn and I married in the middle of 2012.  So I guess, I know quite deeply that sometimes, that taste of failure can lead to great success.

I have that taste of failure in my mouth right now.  I hope this is at least the equivalent of late 2007, If not the middle of 2009.

The failure to let go of 1995, it is not.  I hope that lesson stays burned in my soul FOREVER.

Leave a comment

Filed under Dawn, personal, Uncategorized

Re-learning lessons

Does anyone else ever wake up in the morning knowing that something is missing?

In my case, I know some of the things that are missing.   What I don’t know is why it is so much more acute this morning then it was last night.  Did I dream and the unremembered echos of those dreams are still tugging at my conscience?

Perhaps it was the letter I read last night.  Dawn arranged for a kayaking trip for me in Colorado.  She had done the trip a few months before.  The people running the trip brought cancer patients to the mountains of Colorado for kayaking trips as a way to help them have fun and conquer physical challenges they might not think they could.  They also built a sense of community with others who faced similar challenges.  I was brought out to an event set up to give back to those of us who were caregivers for those survivors.

Part of the process was having the loved ones of the survivor, (in my case) the care giver write heartfelt letters explaining the importance of them in the life of the writer.  Last night I re-read the letter Dawn wrote to me.  It was a powerful letter.  It very graphically told me of her love and why she felt so blessed to have me walk with her in the cancer fight as well as joining her in marriage.  I cried.

It also charged me to again find that person in myself and express that in my life.

In my last post, I shared that I have not been my best with a wonderful person who entered my life.  Encountering Dawn’s letter smacked me in the face.  At first I wanted to share that letter with my now ex-girlfriend, then I realized I shouldn’t be sharing the letter; but rather should have been living that letter daily in my life. Not just with her, but with many more people who I have the privilege to meet in this very short life.

Every once in a while, we have to face errors in our life.  Every once in a while, I know how much Dawn still loves me.  Every once in a while, I end up thanking Dawn and apologizing to her in the same moment.   Last night was one of those nights.

She charged me to “find some woman and make her almost as happy as you made me”.  I found that woman and quite simply didn’t do as she charged me to do.

I needed that smack in the face.  Perhaps, that lovely woman and I can use this current tension as a teachable moment.  I know I have been learning and re-learning things I should have already mastered.  It is painful, but no thing worth accomplishing has ever been easy.  Not to mention, I am the living example of if you are going to be stupid, you better be tough.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Dawn, personal

I will never love…

 

…again, like that.  I wrote a while back how the love Dawn and I shared was a perfect (for us) love.  It was and is.  There lies both the key and the problem.

Dawn and I bashed our heads against the lock of love.

At first we actively avoided any chance of love.  To that point, our lives had shown us, we were not those who found love.  So as semi-sensible adults we decided to enjoy our time together and not make it all complicated with such things.  We had fun.  We enjoyed each other’s company while we were together and when she disappeared, no great loss.  I had my other relationship and so did she.

We found a refuge from the crazy of our primary relationships, with each other.  When our partners didn’t want us, we found each other.  It was very strange, but we were two likeminded people who desperately needed shelter from the storms of our other situation.  Our relationship was fairly casual but also very close.  We became friends almost immediately.  That friendship would become the glue that bound us.  We did not know it at the time, but that friendship was the first step in building a key.

I am not ashamed to admit that after the third or fourth round of dating, I knew I was falling for Dawn in a way that was NOT casual at all.  By this time I knew I was in danger of telling her it was more than casual for me.  Then she surprised me with her younger daughter coming down visit.  Then she really surprised me when she said she wanted to introduce me as her boyfriend.  She told me that with a bit of fear written on her face.  I scooped her up in my arms and told her she was a genius.  She looked at me with a bewildered expression.  I let her go and said, you can tell her that all you want.  From my side it is true.  I have been trying to figure out how to tell you… I am falling for you… and you go and do this.  A look of uncertainty spread across her face, so I grabbed her hand and told her.  It won’t be any kind of lie.  I was trying to figure out how to ask you to be my girlfriend, but you beat me to it.  Kiss me and make it real.

She shook her head as that crooked smile graced her lips.  She kissed me then said, you are a very strange man.

I smiled back and told her she was a strange woman, but my kind of strange woman.  Then I pulled out a card from my back pocket.  It’s kind of anti-climactic now, but…

She read it and teared up.  I thought I had been to bold or something.  She saw the tinge of fear in my eyes and grabbed me in a big hug.  She whispered in my ear.  “I don’t deserve you.”

For once I kept my mouth shut, probably because I didn’t want her to hear my voice crack.  Then with the perfect timing of a teenager, Tucker knocked on the bedroom door.

Another piece of the key.

We had many other seminal events that we did not recognize in the moment.  Each was a piece of the key being built.

As odd as this will sound, by February of 2009 we had all the pieces of the key.  We both knew we loved each other.  We both knew that Tucker was very happy to have me in their lives.  All three of us knew we were a family in all but name.  There was one very large problem.

That problem can be looked at from many different angles.  We had built all the pieces of the key, but neither of us really knew how to put the key together.  She knew she wanted to keep me in her life.  She had taken me to visit her family.   I knew she was the most awesome person I had ever met and I wanted her to be a part of my life.  We were just too broken to know how to do it.  So it slipped from our hands.

Shithead stepped in and charmed her into marrying him.  That was the absolute worst 8-9 months of my life.  The ironic thing, it was also a very bad time for Dawn as well.  She knew she was making a mistake when she agreed to marry him.  She had a little voice screaming RUN during the ceremony.  Then the firestorm came.  Cancer.  In the moment, that was the worst 6 weeks of her life.  She endured two breast surgeries, a husband going from actively ignoring her to demonstrating his desire to kill her by putting her head through an interior wall, being driven from her home penniless with Tucker as a witness to all but the physical attack.

Looking back on that time, she needed the fire to burn her down to the core.  With everything else burned away she saw a freshly forged key in the ashes.  She did not recognize the significance of the key, but she did see an opportunity where she thought she had none.

She tentatively pushed the key towards the lock.  She was too scared to push it in, so she tapped on the lock.  To my surprise, I found out I was holding the lock.  I was just as shocked to find the lock as she had been to find the key.  I tentatively gripped the lock and steadied it for her.  She couldn’t get her hand steady enough to line up the key.  She tried again.  This time the key went in, but she couldn’t muster the strength to turn the key.  I turned the lock instead.

The key was roughly forged and the lock was dirty and neglected, but the key fit and it worked.  The latch sprang open and wonders poured out.  Things we had never imagined sparkled all around us.  Before we knew it, the lock was clasped together but it no longer kept us from the garden of love.  Now it linked the chain between our two hearts and we both knew how fragile and neglected both the lock and the key had been.  We both knew how lucky we were that they worked.  Without a word, we both set about correcting the deferred maintenance.  As we worked, the lock grew stouter, the key  grew stronger and so did the links of the chain.

Before we knew it the chains were gone and so was the lock.  But, that was a good thing.  They had been transformed into a pair of rings binding two hearts for eternity.

That is why I say it is both the key and the problem.  The lock and the key have disappeared.  There is no longer a key to unbind me.  Even if there was, I would not use it.  My heart and my soul are bound to Dawn.  Dawn’s heart and soul are bound to me.

She is such a giving soul.  In the last week we shared.  She pulled me aside and demanded that I do something for her.  She demanded that I wait an appropriate time before starting to date.  She told me, “no dating for at least two weeks…and no bringing some bitch to live in our house for at least two months”.  Looking at my blank stare, she smiled and kissed me, “You are too awesome of a man to not share love again after I am gone.  Go and make some woman ALMOST as happy as you’ve made me.”

I may yet do that, but I can tell you at this point.  I am done.  I have made an effort.  I have “dated”.  But my head isn’t in the game.  My soul and my heart protest.  Even my brain asks why.  Maybe someday, I will trip into something casual that turns into something awesome.  Maybe lightning will strike twice.  I won’t be holding my breath or searching anymore.

Leave a comment

Filed under book, Cancer, Dawn, personal, Uncategorized