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My Garden

Warning: This is a long post and I mean long. Sometimes this lady has to get things off her chest and this was one of those times. If you are brave enough to read it, thank you and if not that is okay with me. Have an excellent day.

I am writing to you all in a reflective mood. Because today is the anniversary of someone that I loved and physically, mentally, and spiritually took care of for ten years of my life, he would be considered the love that I wanted to succeed more than anything, but instead I got a big change that happened nine years ago today.
My dreams have been full of remembrances of the people I have lost in the past 25 years of my life, starting with my mom, not the one I call mom now, but the one who gave me life. I have experienced the death of a love one three times, each time was gut wrenching and not only gut wrenching but it tore my heart out. Even if they weren’t the greatest people in the world and made poor choices I loved each one of them with my entire being. I learned a lot from these three individuals. They shaped who I have become. The losses I have suffered have not just been in the death of loved one, but in the death of relationships that I wanted to succeed, but couldn’t because they were built on shaky foundations to begin with.
Reflection is a good thing, sometimes I don’t want to face the things that have happened but in order to move forward and not repeat mistakes it must be faced just not dwelled on. I want to write and talk about these people, but I also want to talk about those who have been making my garden grow into a flourishing mosaic of flowers. My dream that has brought this sudden change of perspective is this. I was standing at the old house that I used to live in Longview and I was looking out and I saw this gorgeous garden. Every kind of flower you can imagine was there, including all the rainbow of colors, my dream garden. Suddenly there was a voice that said this is yours with hard work. Jesus used gardening as a metaphor in His teachings. I remember doing a gardening assignment when I did Heart Design back in April of 2011. I didn’t get it then, I felt ridiculous. I get it now. Gardening is a lot of hard work, weeding, and watering, cultivating, digging up the plot, getting rid of the pests that eat up your beautiful flowers or vegetables, and then planting. Work, a ton of it all to make a something beautiful and inspiring, isn’t life like that?
Thinking back on all the people still here and gone I am amazed at all I have learned in 38 years of life. I want to share my history with you so you know who I am, why I am fighting for me the way I am now, and why I am slowly getting back into what God created me to be.

My mom, Barbara, she gave me life. She was a sick woman, I have memories of taking care of her because her back was out, dressing her, getting her food, and water in order for her to heal. She also had major anger issue and mood swings galore. Think of mommy dearest but ten times worse. Though she had her moments of showing me complete love, she had her moments of showing me how much she resented me (at least that is how I felt). My mom died when I was 13 years old from a tumor in her heart, a rare thing. In fact, they saved her heart for research and I hope that it has helped others. I learned a lot about pain on June 4th, 1987 because she died that early morning, it all started at midnight when she fell and hit her head, but she said she was alright even when I ran and got the neighbor lady. I went to bed and slept, when I woke up, I checked on her and she was laying on the floor and not her bed in a comatose state and so I went and got the neighbor who called 911 for me, because we did not have a phone, she also called my uncle and aunt who lived a block away. He came running, meaning, he ran a block with his bad back to help me. I couldn’t go with my mom to the hospital and then I had a hard time getting a hold of my sister, but we finally did. I learned a lot about change, I learned a lot about how relationships are, I learned a lot about how important it is to pay attention and know medical facts that day. That is why I keep an index card in my bag and with me all the medications I have and what they are for, so those who are around will know what to tell the doctors if I am unable to. I even have a medical directive and a POLST. All important documents to have no matter how hold you are.
With Rick, my love, I moved in with him in 1995 and I took care of him through all his strokes, diabetes issues, and emotional issues. I always wondered why his daughter, his sister, or mom didn’t come to see him. Come to find out, he burnt those bridges a long time ago by making unhealthy and unwise choices. He chose to abandon his relationships in order for his devious and narcotic obsessions. It is sad. I was so blind to those things until after he died and I cleaned out our 5 bedroom house of his hoard of things and experienced some scary moments. It has taken me a long time to deal and heal from the wounds, but I also had to face many facts about why I chose a man like him. Yes, he caught my attention because he was extremely smart about things, and he loved music, just like I do. He even listened to it in the same manner that I did, but then he would be cruel towards me. I hated it, I felt trapped by emotional warfare. I recreated it in my life again after he died with someone else. Both my mom and Rick died alone, only me, they cut themselves off from people, even friends and their family. It made me sad, I wondered why they made that choice, I probably will never know the true reason because their dysfunction, but these root elements is the sole reason why relationship is vitally important to me.

The third person was the man who chose to be my dad, Richard. His wife and he chose to be my parents after my mom died and I moved in with them in 1988 after I lived with my sister and her dysfunctional family for 6 months. I couldn’t handle it and I am thankful my sister made the wise choice for me and found me Maurine and Richard. Richard had colon cancer and he went through several intrusive surgeries for his health, this was after my Rick passed away. My dad didn’t die until September 2005. The way he passed is the way I want to. He had his wife, and all his children, including me at his bed side. His last words every spoken was my name, he waited for me to come to see him. AT the time I was working on a boat as a porter and I had to leave to be with my family during this time. He waited for me and then soon after he passed away. Talk about the ultimate love thing. I knew Richard loved me as his daughter. While he was fighting his cancer I would often times come and sit with him while he did the Ray Beam light treatments or after he did his radiation treatment rub his feet. It was hard to do his feet, because the radiation cooks you and they looked so horrible, but I love this man and he needed me. The month before he died, he did something that I appreciate so much. He had all his kids together and we connected as a family. That was important to him, he wanted us all to know he loved us dearly. That is what I hope I can do when my time is up. Let everyone that I love know that I love them and value their relationship.
My garden has grown. My beauty is showing through. The flowers I have planted are blooming. I am blessed with an amazing cornucopia of flowers in my life. I have weeded out the killer weeds that choke out the life and I am replacing them with amazing individuals who inspire me to be who I am fully and without shame. Even though today is a sad day I am reflecting the wonderful things that have happened in the 9 years since Rick died, the 25 years since my mom died, and the 7 years since my dad died. I have learned a lot of emotional, spiritual, and mental things on this journey of mine and I am honoring them by sharing my story and letting them go. And that includes the few people who are still living who chose what they did in how they treated me and how they decided to leave things. I am rebuilding my life and the garden I see as my life I love. The mosaic is perfectly me. God made it that way and that is what he wants me to have.
Thanks for reading.

One Response so far.

  1. Stunning! You could have gone so many directions with this article…I am so proud of you! You have learned to hold onto the love. Keep going Jamie! You have become even more beautiful today! You are the garden!

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