Saturday, April 30, 2016

I put on my shields of armour. and didn't shower or wash my hair.

Well now we begin a new chapter... or verse or inning 
So yesterday was the year marker. #oneyear
It seems like it was years ago and weeks ago at the same time. 
I drove to The Cherokee Indian Reservation and back. 
It was a pretty day and traffic was easy. 
I got up there and traveled to the top where the Village was - a place to see how the Cherokee Tribe lived. And drove up a side curve and I think I spotted a tombstone markers - so I stopped and I chickened out going up there and just scattered some ashes in a corner. I poured water and dirt over him - I pretended I was trying to find something in my car and pouring out water bottles. 

I was protected with prayer, Indian cedar beads, a St Michael medal and my wing necklace. As I drove through the Smoky Mountains, I saw rafting businesses I recalled our trips as a child to the area. As I drove the two lane roads at times, I felt like I was driving through India. Narrow and curving with a drop off with the creeks. There were times when I had no service and it freaked me out, thinking I didn't pay the bill. 

So as I made my way I keep following the google GPS and I was not paying attention to the HUGE sign that said CHEROKEE INDIAN RESERVATION so I swung a hard right. As I traveled down the road I eye balled places to scatter ashes - one was Oconaluftee River which you are able to fish in. SO I took that as a sign it was ok. 

I drive up the side towards the village as I said before and scattered some and then more at a small babbling creek. I went into the Village gift shop and asked about possible urns or something. They recommended a wedding vase which looks like a heart. So it was perfect - red clay and native made. 
He will feel safe and sound. 
I saw beautiful baskets and bead work. But the Tribe was probably the first recycling plant. So when I threw my bottle away I thought now that's recycling right there. 
I am taking a native and putting him the hallowed ground and then putting him back in the trash to be recycled. I wonder what he will come back as. 

 Oconaluftee River 

So as I am doing this I say I hope you are happy and feel good. I love you - in various ways. This was very healing for me. It took a lot of time and effort to do this. I know he knows this. 
All I can think of is how proud that Steed was of this side of his heritage. He had a keen sense of direction, a good smell of character and walked steady. I couldn't crawl out of a paper bag. 

But what I couldn't figure out was what clan he was a part of so 
I bought a bowl of all 7 heads. 
It dropped while in bubble wrap and it got busted - red clay doesn't chip like china, it goes back to powder. So, the bruise landed in between two heads. So I would love to know which one he would be a part of.  But with not many family members left it might be hard. So I will go with the ones that were at the chip. 

Sometimes magic happens and you can't explain. 

I went to another gallery shop to see if I could find something else, but really couldn't afford some of the prices. So, I went on my journey. I rode to the river area and parked. I sat on a pile of rock and near a tree stump. I buried him under some rocks and then I was sitting in the sun, I began to cry and I looked down and saw this rock first. 

I took it as a sign that he was happy. 

I tried to keep in mind that I was on hallowed ground and sometimes you just to feel - sit still and feel the wind breeze by. I knew a lot of natives died there especially during the Trail Of Tears. This is where I tell the story - basically, one of the daughters of a Chief hid in the woods to keep from going and she eventually married one of Steed's great uncles. This happened more so than one would think. 

So I wanted to drive up to the top of the mountain but that's gonna be another time. I just wanted to do something on his year. 

I finally found it. 

After about 2 hours there, it was time to leave - The whole time I was walking about I was trying to recall a restaurant that we ate at the only time we went to the area. As I was driving I saw familiar white clapboard houses and it hit me it was there. Me being a city driver just did a sudden U Turn and pulled into the lot. I was there. The place where you brought your beer in a paper bag. It was a Greek place now, but I asked the waitress about it and she went to ask and said it was the Dillsboro Smokehouse - I was eating at the place! So while I had a beer and ate a Greek salad and some melt in your mouth fried chicken I cried. The waitress brought more napkins. She saw me to the illegal move too. 

So the whole trip was great - integrated with some great text chats with friends. One is going through a hard break up and the other is going to be a pirate soon. I love them both. Then a call with two very close friends - one who knows the signs mean something and the other one who keeps Steed in his ice box for safe keeping. Then I topped off the night with some wine and a long talk with my parents who sped all the way down to be with me that next day after he left me. And of course work stuff just like it did that very day a year ago. 

So today starts my new year - this is my New Year's Day. Will things change - no not really. Just I get to say this is the second time... I am carrying the Cherokee Indian ritual of the widow of not bathing or washing or brushing my hair. Once I am ready today I will. 

Love you to following initials. Some of them were the same folks I was talking to that very day. 

As for my Wish bracelet - I put it on this morning and while I was in the shower it came off. I wished for something and as the belief goes, it may come true if I believe in it. Maybe the quicker it falls off and the sooner the wish will come true?

Monday, April 18, 2016

He went for a walk, a ride in the car and went shopping

And he loved it.
I took Steed to Nashville and took him to all the spots he loved.
He played The Bluebird Cafe, Exit/In, Stages and while he didn't love the BMI offices in Nashville, that's where he has his songs.
I took him to lower Broadway and said goodbye on the pedestrian bridge where a lot of country music videos have been filmed. We had looked at apartments along the river there.
He went to the Johnny Cash Museum and watched me buy a trendy CASH tee. He cringed I am sure.
He went to the women's bathroom and the dressing rooms. I felt good about it.

The Bluebird Cafe

He was happy in Nashville.
He felt wanted there.
He felt comfortable there.
He wanted to move there and we almost did 16 years ago.
But again, plans changed once his mother died and his father asked if we'd move in with him.
So here I am making pilgrimages to Music City and leaving him there.
He will prosper and his energy will give me hope.
He's given me new everything cause he wanted me to be happy and successful.

BMI - where they told him to dumb his songs down.
Thank GOD
for DC who believed him so much in ATL.

I think if I just follow his light and Cherokee sense of direction I will be ok. I will take him again I am sure. I need to take him to a few more places...

The big Grand Ol' Opry where he played last, Gruehn's guitars and I gotta find the place where he did a showcase with Liberty Jones and someone said to him "Slept Like A Baby - I Cried All Night" and he told that to Roger Mathis and he wrote the song from that.

Things happened for Steed like nowhere else.
Maybe that's a hint.

He met John Lomax there and he told
him to call Mark Pucci - which led him to me. 
Liberty Jones played here and he called me
from the pay phone to tell me all these Vandy girls
where flirting with him. I told him I didn't need to hear that.

He played here and his friend Allen worked there.
A resting place.

Two more weeks... and we will go for another ride.

Monday, April 4, 2016

... but plans fell through.

It would've been 18 years today

This time last year we were getting our laminate floors put in on our Anniversary/Easter Sunday. Steed stayed upstairs to be out of the way.

It was a fresh start - new floors and 17 years of marriage. We were looking forward to a weekend in Macon with Royal Southern Brotherhood where he told the backstage cops he was a serial killer.

So all we had in front of us was some healing time for him and building up my business for me.

We had no idea what was to happen in 25 days.


We never really did much for our wedding anniversary at all. No dinners, sometimes a trip, or maybe a gift or card or two.

I remember our wedding day - I went to bed at 8:30 the night before at my parents house in VA. We had already gone to the marriage license the day before - we laughed about the mere fact we could just drive off and not do the wedding... we were already "married".

My mom and I went to get our hair done. My hair is miles long so the hairdresser just rolled up in little buns all on top of my head. Nothing else she could do.

I had a great day but my back hurt. Hmmmmm
So we carried on, everything when as planned - 2PM on Saturday, April 4th - I walked down the aisle to Pacabel's Cannon In D. Hated the bride's march.
The pastor whom I'd know since I was 12 married us, we had to go through marriage therapy for it. They didn't cover the issue of if you were to die early... Hope Floats right?
So Pastor Jones got to my vows and I was crying too much to say them.
So he said we will just say "Ditto"
I would kid Steed about not being married cause I didn't say them.

Steed would say you were crying cause I was marrying him. Like I didn't want to.

So we drove off to the car wash to get the stuff off the rental car, I had changed into a black/red suit and I think he was in Jeans.

I think.

So my back is still hurting.  hmm mmm

So we got on the plane to go back to Atl to drive to my grandmother's condo on Daytona Beach and my best friend had called the airlines to get the flight attendants to wish us Happy Honeymoon after they did the how to do this if we crash stuff...
So everyone on the plane clapped and cheered. It was fun.

On Sunday, we went to the Boot Hill Saloon and laughed at the panties and bras hanging from the ceiling.

Then on Monday, we went to Universal Studios. I was pale, back hurting and so on. We were in line somewhere... and I about fainted. Steed took me to the ER where I was diagnosed with a severe UTI that put me in bed for a week. I had the bridal UTI - but mine was steroids.
SO I took this huge brown pill and stayed in bed and we left that Thursday two days before we were supposed to. Thank God we were at my grandmother's condo - which was a gift from her.

So fast forward throughout the years, we always had plans, dreams and hopes.

Plans to move to Nashville fell through because Steed's mom died and his dad asked us to live with him. So we had an instant home ownership and had that plan re-routed. Then Steed had dreams of being a successful songwriter - he was but not it wasn't enough for him. I had dreams that I was living and doing. Hopes for the future after his dad moved out of the house, after 15 years into a nursing home. We hoped to fix the home and grow my biz and get more songs recorded and travel...
The last thing Steed was looking at was staying on the beach in the summer so we could relax. Never made it.

So for the next few weeks while I make my way through a lot of work, 10 CD releases from March to September. A few trips and a lot of writing to do. But I will be doing little things to honor Steed I won't post or talk about them until I am done.

Today is sweet and bitter - I am crying here and there. I even thought of a cool thing to do with my wedding dress. The picture up above is me at my final fitting at the wedding shop. Today I am starting a detox cleanse, today I have to clean up litter boxes, today I have to clean clothes... a lot of cleaning up to do.

I have had to learn to be friends with myself, not get too angry, roll with the punches and not say a word. But today I am.

But since our honeymoon went south we always vowed to do another one. But Plans fell through.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I hate Valentine's Day. For a very good reason

This time, last year Steed was still alive.
This time, last year he was home.
Back from the hospital on the road to recovery.

I always mark Valentine's day when recalling the events of last year.

We hated Valentine's Day.
We never 'celebrated' it.

This year I am alone.
I have no one.
Do I need anyone?
Do I want anyone?

But not now

It's not time yet.

My body's menstrual cycle has stopped. I have no clue why. I bravely made an appointment to find out why. February 25. I hope it's nothing bad.

I hate going to the gynecologist. I've been regular since I was 12 so this is scary. I have done everything by myself for a long time but always had Steed to fall back on. And like some thing's Steed took care of. He took care of the taxes, negotiating percentages on mortgages, dealing with people that would cause me harm. But when looking back at things - I protected him more. So maybe I am good at it. I just some more practice.

So now I have no one to back me up - no one to have my back... I can't count on anyone but myself.

I have no protection now.
I am my own.
I don't fight well.
I would make a horrible lawyer in a courtroom.
I am trying.

I am trying to enjoy life as it is.

A few things I know I can do:

1-work with a dead body in my house
2-work with a dead body in my bed
3-find a dead body
4-try to save a dead body
5-work with traumatic events like finding a dead body.
6-plan a funeral with that dead body.
7-live without that dead body
8-eat without that dead body.
9-laugh without that dead body.
10-sleep without that dead body.

But the trick is this - and I would challenge anyone on this:

11-I can walk into a room without telling anyone about the dead body but not know who knows and who doesn't. Which is pretty brave if you think about it.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
You got it... Practice, Practice, Practice.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Keep flapping your wings...

This morning I woke up with these two songs in my head: "Live Like You Were Dying" and "One Way Ticket" both songs that were big hits for Tim McGraw and LeAnn Rimes but both are about deeper things...

Too many things have happened since 4/29/2015 and I don't recall them all like I thought I would. But the emotions are there. I was raw, I was angry, I was happy and I was realistic. 
I had to be. 

In about 11 days, it will be 9 months. I could've had a baby in that time period. I will have 3 months to go for a full year. 

That will be my New Year's. Not Jan 1st like everyone else. But Friday 4/29/2016. That will be the day I can say whatever I want. Do whatever I want. 


Sure. Anything. 

I dream big. I talk a big what if. I think that what if all the way through til it's exhausted. I think the proper word would be analyze but let's say dream instead. 

To dream is more romantic. 

I look at pictures of far away, down the street, up the road and across the country. I imagine life there. My life? Maybe. 

Because I bought a one way ticket, on a west bound train - to see how far I could go - 
because I know I will die one day and I don't want a what if to be in my way. 

I loved my husband I really did. But I will still love him. But he's not here anymore. So I have to talk to someone I don't know. 

OR give thanks about today and wish for a better tomorrow: "Like tomorrow was a gift / And ya got eternity to think about what to do with it" 

BUT it comes in hours so don't think too hard. 

I used to be routine. I am not anymore. I do what I want. When I want. I don't report anyone. But myself. I hold my head up high. I don't look down. Only when I am wearing pretty shoes. 

And someone says "I love your shoes..." 

I say thanks, but I THINK - yeah they are taking me somewhere... for something to meet anyone and to say everything. 

And just like my note from The Universe said... 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Sometimes I think the world is out to get me...

I hate it to say but she's right. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Boy am I glad I read that...

My mom is great. She's an honorary Jew for when she lived in Washington DC proper she lived in a Jewish neighborhood. She learned how to negotiate, hustle and make potato pancakes from scratch.

That's me, my little brother and my grandmother - when I was 25 

She told me you can be whatever you want because I was limited. Being a young mother, divorced back in the 60s,  all she could be was a teacher, a nurse or a secretary.

Her mom worked in that red house Victorian style looking building in DC - the old Dept of Agriculture and to this day, I don't recall her having any plants in the house. Nor pets.


But what my mom has become since my husband's death is worried, worried and more worried. Asks me about my money, my health and my cats.

But what she fails to ask is: how are you friends treating you.

Well, here it goes. I have about 5 of them here in town, that I can call on and not have to go through the laundry list of what's been going on since 4/29. I have to do a lot of reaching out so I hope my 5 pals aren't sick of me. Yet.

That's fine now, but looking back on it I was in shock.

And what I have been telling my therapist, my BFF since I was 12 and my other dear friend in Colorado - "I would hate to have to explain a year to them after the year had been completed."
The year meaning the year after my husband's death and the year that I set aside to grieve and honor my husband because they didn't care enough to reach out to me...

I don't expect dinner at the Palms or a cruise on the Italian coastline... but I don't expect to be shunned because they didn't know WHAT to say... hello! is good... how are you? is fine and no you don't have to bring it up. It's not ugly it's life.

Mom zip lines only cause roller coasters
bore her. 
So mom says one day on the phone: "maybe you will have to make new friends."

At 46 (almost); that's a scary thing think of. Yikes. I mean what would talk about? Boys? Make-up? Our zits?

Death and Taxes. You can't dodge them.

People are acting like I've done something wrong. I've done nothing wrong folks. But I feel like I'm paying the price on behalf of your ego.

So my mom sends me these books on grieving - fine so does the pastor at the church that we are members of that we've not set foot in due to my husband's bad heath and yet they remember me.


Ok fine. Got it. I guess I won't go ablaze after all.

BUT what this one book says, about understanding your friends is that some will forsake you. Some will say hurtful things... if they could only know one thing; what you don't say is louder than what you might say that you think is hurtful but don't so you say nothing thinking it's a better idea...

Yeah eating a Snickers and drinking a diet coke is not cancelation of calories... it's a cover up.

And yeah I have validation now.

Thanks, mom. I'm glad you sent it to me, for I left it at your home cause I was tired of reading them.