The Strength of Anger

In the five stages of grief:
Denial.
Anger.
Bargaining.
Depression.
Acceptance.

There was no chance to work through Denial…. that call from the Sheriff… well, the “I am sorry to have to tell you this over the phone…” nope, no chance for Denial in this Grief.

Bargaining was taken out of the equation too, because I believed the Sheriff. I mean, who would lie about a thing like this. I don’t even believe, a couple of weeks later, the night I brought Ethan’s ashes home, that I thought any kind of barging could be struck. I just wailed, “I want my son back.” Repeatedly. It was not a bargaining request. It was a painful, loud, repetitive fact. One I had to work through.

Depression, it is a part of my grief. It still comes and hides and comes again. I know it is here for the long haul.

Acceptance … I did that early too. Even if I did tell the Sheriff, “I can’t talk about this now, I will have to call you back.” It was because I couldn’t hear any more. His words stung my ears and my heart. But there were too many news reports; too many conformations for me to even think this was not real. And later, my wish, no my prayer: “Please don’t make Ethan’s death be in vain,” has been answered time and time again.

It is that Anger that is rearing it’s ugly head … again. It hit me very hard as my mind wrapped around the Sheriff’s words making me understand the oddness in my kids’ step-mom voice that morning, on the phone. And my (then) husband’s softly spoken, “You are going to have to call. You’re his mom. They won’t release any information to anyone that his not his next of kin.”

And the Anger has swelled many a time over the last 5 years 9 months and 2 days. But I have been able to keep in caged, most of the time. But, it began to have a life this weekend. A life of it’s own. I did release it in the company of comfort; with someone I am completely comfortable with, completely trust; someone who does not look at me like I have two heads.

But I did not like that it grew and grew and grew
and I did not stop it.
I did not like that I actually fed it.

Allowed it to blossom.

Not one other person around us knew what was growing inside of me.
Not one other person around us heard what I was saying.
They did not hear the conversation my confidant and I were having.
But I don’t like that I was in public.

I don’t like that after the conversation ended the Anger stayed around… it did not go back into its cage. It lingered at the door waiting to be given free rain to destruct.

 

I have always been afraid of this beast called grief.
I have worried it would grow so big that I would get lost in it.
I have worried it would engulf me.
Be more powerful than I.

And this weekend … it felt too comfortable letting the Anger exist.
Darn it!

 

 

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Day 5 Five Favorite Foods

June 5, 1941. Robert Kraft, founder of Kraft Foods, was born.

I have been challenged to tell about my five favorite foods or five favorite restaurants. I will tell a little bit about both.

My Favorite Foods:

  1. Leg of Lamb

    My mum cooked us a Leg of Lamb, Greek style, which is to say that she cut into the leg meat with a sharp knife and inserts a clove of raw garlic, then she would slather the fat-sided up leg with yellow mustard and sprinkle with garlic salt. I am grateful that my mum,  not only handed down a traditional Greek receipt, but shared this with me as I still prepare and cook my lamb in this fashion.

  2. Champagne

A Brut. With fresh fruit or without, with… for Sunday breakfasts or mid-day. Oh… wait that is made of grapes.

  1. Eggs Benedict

  2. Green/garden salad —

    It’s just tossed green lettuce, tomatoes, sometimes green onions, sometimes radishes, sometimes black olives, but usually Fetta or soft Goat cheese or Blue Cheese and the  family’s homemade oil and vinegar “Greek” salad dressing.

  3. And instead of a 5th favorite food I will tell you my favorite restaurant:

My Favorite Restaurant is Parkway Grille on Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, Calif.
http://www.theparkwaygrill.com

– It is one of the 5 restaurants that Greg and his family owned when I was in my early 20s. Back then my spouse-type fella (not then, we were only dating then – 30 years ago) trained a good number of the opening staff for Parkway Grille and I was “trained there” by another waiter just before the opening of Crocodile Café, on Lake Ave in Pasadena. I love the level of gourmet food that constantly comes out the Open Air kitchen and has since 1984. Plus, now the head Mixologist, Mark, makes a wonderful set of cocktails.

 

Day 3 Three Things I Can’t Live Without

 

“June 3, 1937. The Duke of Windsor married American Wallis Simpson. He loved her so much he knew he could not live without her, so he gave up the Crown of Great Britain to marry her.

What are three things you can’t live without (or wouldn’t want to)?”

Day 3 of the June Challenge –

I used to think I couldn’t live without my three (3) beautiful gifts from God – my son (Ethan), my daughters (Kayla and Elantra) – but life has taught me differently with the murder of my son and the fall out, within the family since. So, I hold out for not one more thing that I would believe I could not live without for fear that that too would be taken from me.

 

 

Day 2 Two Goals for June

“June 2, 1835.  P.T. Barnum and his circus started their first tour of the United States.

Do you want to learn to ride an elephant? Or fly on a trapeze? Or juggle fire? What new ills would you like to learn? Or do you simply want to improve in some area of your lives? Do you have projects that you’ve started and desire to finish?”

Well since I have already ridden an elephant, and done a shorter, 10 foot, high fall (which is close enough to a trapeze that I am okay with that), been spun on a wheel and hand knives thrown at me (on the Wheel of Death by Larry Cisewski) and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane I have to admit my goals for June, as of May 30 were different then it seems they need to be today, June 2nd.

Goal 1 – Get more of the bushes planted at my home.

I have shrubs and rose bushes that I wanted to get planted last year, but a very badly broken leg sidelined me last year so this year, no this month, I have set a goal of getting as many planted as I can physically plant myself. I hate working so hard to keep plants alive in their “greenhouse pots”, for years now, just to have them die because they are root bound. So, I have gotten the holes begun, I soaked them again this morning, and I will be putting no less than two shrubs in the ground tonight. Yes, tonight. Right. No turning back.

Goal 2 – Get the spare bedroom transformed into my sewing room.

Part of the fallout of the murder of my son, Ethan, was the final falling apart of my marriage. With that came a big move and the loss of my sewing studio. I miss my creative space. It is time, yes it is time to regain that which the murderer and the wake of someone else’s actions has knocked over, destroyed and tried their best to take away from me. I will take the extra clothing, that is already separated into bags, out of the room, wash the floor and paint the walls.

Goal 3 – Get my instructors certificates.

This is the new goal presented to me with the closing of May and the beginning of June. I have been asked to take on becoming an NRA trained and certified firearms safety instructor. Hence enabling me to work as an instructor with the local firearms store (and?). And last night I was shown which classes I should take and, well, the first class is June 18th. So, I shall take this class, take the tests, prove my safety first thinking and take more classes.

It is interesting that as I allow some doors to become opened, I push to open a couple for myself (again), more and even some unexpected doors are opening as well. This June 2016 is promising to be an interesting one.

I hope, by the end of the month I can show positive fruits of my labor.

June 1st challenge

Today I will be accepting a June challenge from KathleenBDuncan…
https://kathleenbduncan.com

Day 1 One Piece of Advice —

On June 1, 1926 American actor Andy Griffith was born. He played the role of the sheriff of Mayberry in The Andy Griffith Show. He was often shown giving fatherly advice to his deputy Barney Fife (played by Don Knotts) and his son Opie (played by Ron Howard).

Share one piece of fatherly (or motherly) advice.

What one piece of advice would you give your teenage self? What would you tell a couple about to get married or have a baby? What one piece of advice did someone give you that you’d like to pass on to others? What one piece of advice would you give a new blogger

Share the wisdom!

<b>My Advice is to put your best effort forward each and every day.</b>

I know this may sound overly simple, but in reality it has a wide birth of ramifications.

You see, if you put your best effort out each day, even if one day’s best effort is not but 20% of your very best… well, it does not really matter. Because, after all, if you put your best efforts into each day then who, including St. Peter, can deny that you have done your best each day.

 

My Bleeding Heart

 

My heart bleeds
As my son was due 25 years ago today
He waited two days
He was born on the 21st of May.
He was taken from us all 19 years and 110 days later.

I still wish we had all had more time together.

His murder has changed oh so many lives.

We are no longer the people we were the day before his murder.

The brutality
The shock
The anger
The hatred
The confusion
The loss of trust
The loss of security
The loss of family affected by all of the above ….

It stings my heart no less then twice a year.
(His Birthday date and his Death Date.)
But usually a lot, lot more!

(c) Kathleen Kline

“First Time Shame on You” available in Tales of Our Lives!

Tales of Our Lives-Cover-Volume-1
Jan. 8, 2016 TALES OF OUR LIVES, a two-volume anthology of 81 inspiring true stories, published by Knowledge Access Books, was released to the public via Amazon.com. I am honored to announce my story: “First Time Shame on You” is in volume one — Fork in the Road.

Tales of Our Lives Volume 1, Fork in the Road, is a compilation of 42 stories separated into six sections while Volume 2, Reflection Pond, is a compilation consisting of eight divisions with 39 stories within.

This two-volume set is an example of women’s desire to record, examine, understand and report life journeys. In an era of reality shows that aren’t close to reality, the authentic voices of these authors stand out, clearly conveying their heartfelt stories. As you read, you’ll find yourself laughing, crying and even cheering the women on, according to Editor Matilda Butler.

The stories in the two volumes of Tales of Our Lives will let you travel down the path of life with women authors who are willing, and able, to “reveal the people and events that made all the difference in their lives. [T]hese are stories that made them who they are [today],” Butler noted.

Much honesty is used as my fellow women authors and I pull back the blinds and let you, the reader, get a glimpse into the situations that helped shape our lives.

Memoirs are the stories of our lives – small and big alike – as we recall them. So drop on by Amazon.com, look up Tales of Our Lives and see if you can get in on the reduced prices as a way of saying ‘thanks for reading what taught us to be who we are.”

Each volume will be $ .99 for the first 53 hours, beginning Jan. 8, 2016, (a 75% discount); $1.99 for the second 53 hours (a 50% discount); $2.99 for the remaining 54 hours (a 25% discount), and then the regular price of $3.99.

The above discount is only available in the US (www.amazon.com) Amazon does allow a discount in the UK (www.amazon.co.uk) but with slightly different terms due to conversion rates. 

I hope you enjoy your reads. Don’t hesitate to contact me.

Happy Reading,
Kathleen Kline
Author

The destruction lingers

I am saddened by the destruction caused by grief.
I am saddened by the destruction caused by drugs.
I am saddened by the destruction caused by the tongue,
by the emotions.
I am saddened by the destruction of this family.
It started years ago,
It continues today.
The angry words said by some to others.
Those who negate that there were two victims that day, 5 years ago.
Those who negate that she was a victim too.
Those who negate that she has to find a way to live without him too,
after planning a life with him.
Those who negate that she has to find a way to live a life not seeing him laying on that floor,
in that puddle of blood,
not hearing him cry.
Those who negate that she has to find a way to live a life not reliving that she was kidnapped.
Those who negate that she has to find a way to live a life not reliving the rapes,
the terror, the moments of hopelessness.

And they think they have lost the most.
Their grief has caused them to be short sighted.
This saddened me so.

She has endured so much and lost so much more then it seems the selfish will ever know.

I am saddened by the destruction.

5 years and counting

Mind-full Conversation … a continuing reality

The star, although it is 92.96 million miles away, reached out heating the medium weight pieced plew quilt that, in turn, warmed the sullen auburn haired lady. Although the solar flares erupted, she did not notice. Cuddling under both – the sun and the beaver pelt – she sipped on a warm cup of Mexican Coffee. The tequila, Kahlua and coffee worked to warm her from the inside out, but as she shivered she realized neither the liquor nor the sun were accomplishing their goal.

She glanced up at the sky; her cloudy, bloodshot eyes – framed by the red skin that held her lashes – searched for anything, but found nothing of value.

It was then that she; spoke addressing a question unheard by anyone else, not that there was anyone near to hear even her words.

“I too have dreamed of an Orange Blob tsantsa,” she mumbled like the rumpot she looked like frequently at this time of year. Well, at least consistently for the last five years.

But she knew it did not take copious amounts of intoxicants to make her look this way. It was, in part, why she had taken to holding up in this secluded location each year early in September. To hide; to avoid explaining; to avoid faking the happiness others wanted for her.

“Have you taken up studying how to shrink heads Lovie? I am sure there are some Ecuadorian Jivaroians up there to learn from. After all, I don’t believe there is anything in the bible that says war trophies, including shrunken heads is a bad thing,” she rambled on a bit.

“No momma, but I may look at that, now that you mention it. I have been studying the ylem,” she distinctly heard her son’s voice, a voice she hoped she never forget.
“You’ve got enough time now to study something so big, don’t you Lovie,” she said nodding. “You know, your would-be bride sent me one of your school notebooks the other day,” she smiled remembering the joy she felt looking through it. “It was your bio-med notebook in which you had notes on splitting atoms.”

“Momma…”

“Yes, Lovie.”

“Why are you being so stuthious-like?”

“What? My ulu is sharp – it reminds me of the Arabian knife you were given at the age of 6 by our antique dealer – my whit is dull though and his actions make me akin to a uniped. Sometimes his actions cripple me, still. Make me feel like a uniped with the wind knocked out of my lungs each time I try to get past this.”

“Oh momma … please don’t be so sad. Gmaw is here now. I am not alone. And I am waiting for you, patiently now momma. I am watching over you and the girls, and I see you are often better.”

Something brushed her cheek. Was that the wind or my son’s hand? she wondered as she leaned into it, gaining a shred of comfort.

“Remember momma, he is as shameful as a wittol – heck momma, he’s worse than a man who knows and tolerates his wife is unfaithful. He’s had a set of twins with his effing half-sister and lived with her as his wife. Pay him no mind momma.”

Her stomach turned a bit at the truth in her son’s statement.

“Why don’t you go bring others joy, expand upon your tasty talents and become the saucier you’ve dreamed of and celebrate the 19 years I had, we had together? I have learned there are mole sauces, reductions, hollandaise and so many more sauces you can learn to make,” he encouraged.

“Nineteen years and 110 days, Lovie,” the sadness lingered in the air.
“And 110 days momma,” she could hear the joy in his voice.

She lifted her coffee mug toward the clouds as the tears welled in her eyes. “I will try son,” a statement she did not feel up to embracing. Instead she followed it by taking a big gulp of the warm liquid. But the day you got your wings still stings.”

“I know momma, sorry.”

When Do Moments of Failure Define You As Such?

sorrow
I am amazed, saddened and possibly even disgusted by the comments overheard by me, made by my own flesh and blood, that admit they like to see me struggle. I evaluate this and it seems this new crippled status of my children’s mother – albeit not a permanent thing, I hope – brings them some sense of joy. No wonder they refuse to help me, even go so far as to make it difficult for me to get around the house in a wheelchair … they like to see me struggle. I write this trying to calm my stomach as it begins to lurch within my core.

So I say to myself … and I know it is me because I recognize my own voice, “Self, maybe you were too resilient. Self, maybe you did not show enough strife when you were, in fact, struggling to cover the needs of your children. Self, did you make it look too easy?”

I reply back to myself, “Easy? No. I did not make life’s stumblings look easy. The moving here and there – 9 times in 3 years — was not easy during the stalking.” (Stalking that I am now told was not really stalking by my now 22-year-old.)

“Wait,” I remind myself, “the cops, judges and women’s shelters counselors thought differently and so did your oldest daughter when she was eight.” I do my best to remind myself that it was real. The convincing ramblings of the stalker to someone who has craved his love and attention for over 14 years does not change facts. Facts that she has forgotten and some she may well not even know about. I quietly accept it. Yes, we were stalked and I did my best to protect them.

“Wait until they learn that life, including parenting, does not come with a set-in-stone manual.”

I took what life threw at me and I, I, survived. After all, these struggles, they were not easy. But they had to be dealt with. I set my mind to – getting through life – long ago. The struggles, they were/are, in fact, surmountable. I thought that was what I was teaching my children. I did my best to not stay down on my knees each time I stumbled. And I did stumble. I thought they saw that. After all, they were there. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe it is just easier for them to forget, easier for them to alter history so it is easier to swallow.

“I didn’t try to hide the struggles from the kids, but they did say, once, years ago, ‘We had no idea we were poor.’ I guess I did a good job making sure they had everything they needed.”

I then ask myself, “Self, did you take care of so much, while the others in their life did not, that when the children accuse you of ‘falling short’ and take pleasure in seeing you in need that they are only striking out at the one who has tried to be there for them since before birth? Self, have you set the bar too high, too high because others have set their bars too low? Self, have you missed the mark merely because you are human?”

As I bow my head, allow the tears to fall, for a moment, but not much longer, I realize I have loved my trio to the best of my abilities. I am sure I have fallen short a multitude of times. I know I have only seen life through my eyes (not sure I can see it any other way) and I missed things. Yes, I will do my best to accept that I am only human and humans are fallible and therefore I will admit I have moments of failure. But moments of failure do not make a life of failure.

“I wish I had made better choices, self. Because the ripples in the pond, you know the ones I speak of … unwittingly marrying a fraud, having three beauties with him and all that has come after this has me bobbing my head in the wake of some of my decisions. So much that I wonder if I will drown in the sorrow of it all.”

Failure