Today was a good day.

Cold and blustery. Intimidating on the surface as I start immunosuppressive therapies tomorrow. I just needed a day to dust myself off, get back out in the world, see beauty and have fun. I was not disappointed.

Maui took me to Cleveland’s Botanical Garden for ORCHIDMANIA and a butterfly release. I was not disappointed:

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This was promptly followed by an evening at the casino hanging out with my secret identity where I was reintroduced to an old flame, spending money as entertainment!

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We even hit a Red Robin up on the way home for burgers, bottomless fries and bottomless root beer floats. YUMMM.

The point is, I’m so grateful for today. It may the last day I’m able to get out and walk amongst the living for a while due to the immunosuppression, but Maui was determined to show me a good time. We got a little crazy at the casino.

There was lots of smiling and laughter. My heart is full. That is all.

The Hazy Cynapsis

 

I honestly don’t know how Im still breathing. 

Ive said this before, but it bears repeating; It’s quite amazing how many times you’re heart can be broken …

…yet, still … we survive. 

That’s something. 

It’s a miracle. 

And millions of us do it everyday. 

It’s brave. It’s beautiful. 

It’s brutiful. 

Collateral Beauty

10 years ago today, my husband Chris and I, stood before a judge and were granted a divorce. I stood like a strong tower before him, but in the darkness of a parking deck, I collapsed into a fit of sobs in my best friend’s arms and cried out to anyone listening: “Why?”

After adopting his son, bringing our love to life in two children and staring down my husband’s demons, this finality was incomprehensible. 


Everything that happened after that was a nightmare my children and I stumbled through with faith and the support, love and prayers of our friends and family. There was A LOT of friction and unimaginable amounts of pain. 

The players changed through the years but the game of broken promises and relationships remained the same. Every fall, in October, around our anniversary, I lost myself, my faith … my mind. 

Last year as it happened I found myself at rock bottom, right back where I had started and dug deeper than I ever had before into myself, literally. The recovery from that place brought about acceptance and forgiveness of any and everything that was ever formed against me. 

I found my way to an open and affirming tribe. 

I found myself. 


This past October, Chris would also find his rock bottom, the inevitable destination at the end of a very long road of self-destruction. When I received word, I fell on my face and made a fervent plea: PLEASE TAKE CHRIS HOME, let him find a peace that passes all understanding and finally remember himself. 

Less than a month later, a familiar voice found me by phone, followed closely by tears, words left unsaid and an absolution I thought would never come. 

In December we experienced, what our children proclaimed, a Christmas miracle, together. 


Soberity. Solace. Solidarity. 

I watched my children’s resilience shine. I marveled at the blessings of collateral BEAUTY. 


Despite everything, in spite of the odds, come what may, we are all going FORWARD, TOGETHER, to try and take what was lost and broke and make it right and something BRUTIFUL. 

My newest and dearest ink

The Japanese refer to sakura (cherry blossoms) as a symbol of life.

After their too-short bloom, the cherry blossom falls to the ground and is scattered about by wind and rain. It is in this life cycle that their blossoms become truly anticipated and appreciated for all their beauty. Similar to their Japanese association, cherry blossoms serve as a symbol of love in the Chinese culture thanks to their herbal lore.

In addition to Japanese and Chinese roots, the cherry blossom also lives a path of enlightenment thanks to Buddhist beliefs.

Existing only in the present moment has long been the basis of Buddhist beliefs along with the daily reminder that we are here but only for a short time. Much like the cherry blossom. life is short and sweet. These flowers can also represent wisdom. Only once the blossoms begin to open and unfold is the beauty of the flower revealed.