Be My Roots

“I will be your roots.  Your friends, we will be your roots.  Root in us. Root in those who love you.”

We all have those friends who are just so wise and wonderful, who tell you not just what you want to hear, but what you need to hear.  They love you enough to tell the truth, to encourage you to see what is really there, no illusions and to help you, through all of your troubles and follies. I have been blessed with several of these friends and I cannot tell you what I would have done without them.

I had lunch with a dear friend yesterday and some much needed girl talk was had.  And during that time, she said some very profound things – as she usually does, since she has wisdom beyond her years. I spilled my heart out to her with how I had been and where things are.

It’s has been hard finding my footing after loosing both parents so close together.  My friend made a great observation:  She said that I was grounded in my parents, family is where I put my roots.  And now that they are gone, I have no roots. So now I am desperately searching for my roots now.

My parents and I were very close, as I talked to them once a day.  And they were always visiting because of Dad’s cancer treatments. No matter what problems I had, they were there for me. I was so very blessed.

So now what?  She looked at me, smiled and said “I will be your roots.  Your friends, we will be your roots.  Root in us. Root in those who love you. We will root each other.”

And I cried.  To have such love and friendship is beyond a blessing.

And so I move forward, finding a place to put my roots in the fertile ground of Faith, Friends and Family. While I am still fragile and vulnerable, I know I will be OK, safe in the arms of such unconditional love.

From There to Now

What a difference a year makes…or 4, or more.  It truly is amazing all that can happen, all that can change, all that can make you different, stronger, wiser, better. All that can be learned, in that small span of time, in the blink of an eye, that adds up to a lifetime.

Facebook has this nice little feature called “On this Day,” tt makes recalling everything from 1 year ago, 2, 3, 4 and so on years ago very easy.  And when I  look at these memories, I am reminded of all that has transpired from there to now.

1 year ago – I had just found out This Mold house was indeed The Hose of Mold…I was sleeping on my sisters couch, and attempting to make the last chances of a childhood friendship survive. That friendship ended in disaster and hard feelings and a death of sorts.

There was the very new curiosity of a suitor who, as it turns out after pursuing me hard for 6 months,  would prove to view me as nothing more than a burden to be endured, and made sure I felt it too.

Dad’s cancer was not officially in remission, but he had not had a chemo treatment in sometime and was doing very well, which was good after all the family friction of previous few months.

Job wise, I was at a place that was very unprofessional and was miserable. All in all, I was in a terrible place, trying to figure out how to dig out of the hole that had become my life. The digging out had just begun.

And then I look at the landscape of my life now…and I really have no desire to even peak at the last years gone by. That is all in the past, where it should stay.  The only thing left is to say that I am proud of how far I have come, from there to here, proud of the strength it took to walk those miles, those roads, those places, in that darkness and confusion and despair.

I am proud of where there was, and how many baby steps I took, after each heartbeat, to get to the light of where I am now.  Proud of the tears, and perseverance, the tenacity and hope and prayer, and faith, and belief that it must get better. That what is bad and hard is only temporary, and that certainly I could make it just a little longer.

But mostly, I am thankful, so very thankful, mostly because, all because, of my friends, and family and faith that kept me moving, even when I was down and out.  Those who believed in me, said I was strong and capable, and could do it. because I was the one who could take the heat, the one they all said couldn’t be beat.

So very grateful for the souls who held me while I cried, listen while I vented, sat with me quietly, just watching TV, while I healed from all that had passed. Who fixed me dinners and coffees, and tucked me in, making sure I was safe and warm while in this sea of high waves.

But then again, who couldn’t survive, even thrive, with wonderful people around them like that?  I couldn’t have done it without the,=m, as strong as I am.  I am blessed to have them in my life, and blessed, honored and privileged to try to give it back to them, should they ever be in need.

As I look out now, at my wonderful job, great relationship, family’s health and so much more. I am smiling again, writing again (like crazy, it is pouring out). There is a spring in my step and I am singing, though badly, around the house.  There is joy once again. And I know I am not alone.  I wasn’t alone in the rough seas, and I am not alone now that there is celebration to be had.

And that is what this season, this winter, this upcoming year will be – The time of celebration. And healing. And that is the best thing about getting from there to here. Join me, won’t you?

The Oposite of Seasons

This is the season for parties, festivities, socializing, seeing old friends, making new friends and just a lot of hustle and bustle. It is a season of extraverts. But this season I am feeling anything but extravert.

This year I am feeling very be cozy and warm mama bearish. I just want to be home, or with a close circle of friends. Yes, the invites have been pouring in for this and that.  And surely these are people whose company I have enjoyed in the past. But my couch is so very comfortable and the fire is warm.

This year, after being terrible displaced from my home due to toxic mold, I am more appreciative of e safe place to hang my hat.  I want to make this space warm and welcoming to all those whom I love and care.

And as the pictures of festive parties, pretty dresses, fixed hair, perfect make up and lots of drinks are posted on Facebook and other social media outlets, I smile and click like from the comfort and warmth of my own hearth, on my flannel PJ’s and fuzzy socks (yes, super sexy, I know).

I sip wine and listen to my favorite music, unpacking, organizing, arranging furniture and getting settled.  And who says you have to be and about on the town seeing and being seen to be social? I have my friends close by, still meeting for dinners and drinks.  I run to theirs or they come to mine. It is nice and quiet and small and quaint.

There is home cooking – soups and sauces, new recipes and old favorite, smells and fragrances filling the house. Putting up and decorating the Christmas tree, with all the old ornaments from childhood that make me smile and love my parents. There is eggnog and mistletoe and kisses and laughter. There is the gentleness of starting over.

And sometimes, in the big world, it is good to be small and close.  It is good to make sure that all of our fingers and toes and accounted for and painted pretty colors, enjoying the small comforts that build the foundation of a good and happy life. Sometimes the small celebrations are even more meaningful than the big ones.

And sometimes, when it is all said and done, it is the building of many of those small moments that make a life worth living and loving. Sometimes being the opposite of the season is what gives it it’s meaning.

Packing With Friends


Packing and moving can be hard, but with the right people, it can be a lot of fun. While I still have several weeks before moving, Ialso have a lot of stuff. And getting everything packed, starting early, is key to a seamless move. And I have no shortage of friends at my side, helping make the packing more fun and entertaining than should be allowed.

There has been laughter, food, drink, movies, dancing, trying on clothes, taking bags to Goodwill. Mostly though, there has been love. These are my peeps, my besties, the ones I call when I need back-up…and the ones who call me to check in, make sure I am OK, see if I need anything. Because that’s what friends do – they check in on each other. These are the kind of friends that love you enough to not let you go out of the house in a dress that makes you look fat, that tell you to hand over your phone so you don’t text him again, the ones who call you out and give you a kick in the pants if you need it.

These are the friends who are there when I cry, when I am lonely…these were the people who call me when dad is sick with chemo, to see how he is doing, and ask if I need anything – even if it’s just to sit with them in quiet. These are the friends who never attack me, or throw things in my face. The friends who love you at your worst, and celebrate with you at your best. These are the friends who anyone would be truly blessed to have. And I have so many.

And packing has been a blast. Going down memory lane, telling stories, filling in the blanks, making plans for the future. And my heart is full.

The Meaning of True Friendship

This New Years has been about many things – love, lust, betrayal, forgiveness, pets, travel, my heart, but mostly it has been about friendship, tried and true.

When I was much younger, barely out of my teens, one of my favorite aunts died. After her funeral, as we sat in her house with the rest of the family, two of her best friends were about, taking care of everything. They greeted family, served food, made sure everything was taken care of and cleaned up. My mother looked at them and said to me “Those are very good friends. What they are doing is tyhe true meaning of friendship.” I was really too young to understand what she meant at the time.

As I have gotten older I have come to realize the meaning behind my mother’s simple but equally deep observation. Your friends are the ones who take care of you when you need it most.

So after the best new Years Eve of my entire life, I got up early, got some coffee and hit the road to be there for one of my best friends.  She has recently gone through a break up. She and her boyfriend were together for 10 years, bought a house and lived together for the past 8 years. She works full-time and runs an animal rescue.

The day was spent talking, consoling, comforting and cleaning. She is trying to remodel the house and doing quite a bit of it herself. The result is a very big mess. And we cleaned, and cleaned and cleaned. Then we went out and cleaned her car. And as she sat, tear-stained face and wet cheeks, we, with loving care, started to put her life back together, piece by small piece. She sat, quiet, motionless, unable to move so stricken by grief and loss. He was her best friend…now he is not. And that is the thing about relationships – many times that person is your best friend. When your best friend is gone, who do you turn to?

We cannot take her pain away, but we can help clean up her life and put it back together.  That is just what you do, you take care of your friends. We call to check up on her, call her, help her, cook for her, be there for her. And sometimes it is just to have someone around, that you know cares, that can make all the difference. Earlier she and I sat watching to TV, not speaking, just sitting. And then she dried her eyes, curled up in a blanket and fell asleep. Able to rest in the comfort of knowing she was not alone in that big house.  And many years ago, I remember being that heart-broken, to the point where I just wanted a friend to sit with me while I slept and felt awful. And she did.

Because in the end, we all bleed from a broken heart. And it is our friends who help us get up again. And that is the meaning of true friendship – being there in the thick and thin, for calls late at night, when our hair is a mess and we are still in our in worst PJ’s, and they love us anyway, despite ourselves.

Chicago Bound Baby!

We all have friends in other cities that we swear we will visit, eventually. When we get the time, when work slows down, when money is better, when this or that project is done, when {insert reason here}. We can end up when-ing ourselves right out of seeing our friends, making memories and living a well lived and loved life.

So when one of my best friends got a contract in Chicago and invited me to come up, how could I say no? I love Chicago. I have not been to the Windy City since 2003, almost ten years. No doubt I will have even more fun now than I did then. It is just a fun city, though it will be cold. The people are laid back, the city has a great vibe and the food? Incredible!  Not even New York City can compete when it comes to Italian food (my favorite).

And let’s not forget about the shopping? Let’s just say I will be having food-gasms and shop-gasms the entire time I am there.The best, most fabulous, hottest pair of boots I have ever owned, I bough in Chicago. Unfortunately I had to throw them away a year later when I got sprayed by a skunk while wearing them (Very. Long. Story. ) I have been wanting to go back and buy another super hot pair of boots ever since. This may be my chance. And Christmas is coming, this trip may prove to be a great chance to buy some early gifts.

The only reason why I will not need my fat-pants, is that you walk when in Chicago, very much like when you are in NYC. You walk, and walk, and walk, and walk.  Which is actually good considering how good the food is in that city.

The best part is that I will be with some of my best friends, Scott and Susan. They actually own the town home where I live. Susan is my sister from another mother and her boyfriend Scott is like my big brother.  Literally – he is 6’2″. When they lived in Atlanta, I would bring all my dates over to meet them. Susan would check them out and Scott would be the great big brother and scare the crap out of any man who might even Think of hurting  me. I miss them.

And they have the best love story of anyone I know, besides my parents.  Speaking of my parents, my family adopted S&S (as we call them). Susan’s birthday is Christmas, so she would always come home with me for the holidays. Scott was the only man Mom would let near her grill.

So a weekend spent in the windy city with my best friends. There will be much shopping, laughing, eating, drinking, shopping, mischief, debauchery and happy, wonderful memories with my dear friends.

Susan, Me, and Scott. My Brotha & Sista from anotha motha 🙂

My Dad

His tests came back yesterday. He has some cancer that has come back to his liver, but it is very small and they caught it very early. They are confident they can treat it successfully. He has amazing doctors at one of the best hospitals for liver cancer in the U.S., possibly the world.

But still, if you are reading this, please say a prayer that he continues to do well.

Thank you.


Question: Mercy, Compassion, Grace and Forgiveness

Rex, one of my best friends asked me a question:

“Have you ever had a man love you enough to  hold you while you beat up on him because you were more important to him than his ego?”

My Answer: Yes.

The question was so raw in it’s honestly it stopped me in my tracks. And I started to cry. It was almost 20 years ago, but that question brought everything back like I was right there in it.

His name was David. I was 19.

I asked Rex later why he asked that question, he said: “It’s one of the 3 or 4 lowest points and/or most charged-up situations in any relationship run into. Without those turning points no relationship turns real, it just stays cursory.”

There is a time in my life I call “The Dark Ages,” and it lasted from age 19-21.  Terrible things happened during that time. No one knows everything that happened. I have never told. And I never will. Somethings just hurt too much to ever tell another.

David was my angel. He held me as I sobbed for hours, weeks, as I sobbed for months, even over a year. I sobbed for everything I had lost, all of myself that I could never get back. I wept for my heart, how it was so broken, I was broken, from the inside out. I had to look up to see rock bottom.  That was during the time I would drive 1,000 miles a day, just to be moving. I couldn’t be still because everything horrible would catch up with me.

I put that man through every kind of Hell imaginable. I yelled, lied, was so mean, wishy-washy, temperamental, distrusting. I never cheated, but I did treat him horrible. I put him through the ringer emotionally.

And he was there for me the whole time. He held me through it all, telling me it was going to be OK. He knew, whatever it was that hurt me so, I had to get it out.  He took my anger, pain, loss, confusion, loss of faith, disillusionment, emptiness, distrust, meanness….turned it into love, and gave it back to me.

That is Grace. And that is what I have prayed to have. It is not easy. Because you do have to care less for your ego than anything else. And sometimes, you do get beat up, quite a bit.

I thank David, to this day. I can never pay him back for what he did for me. His kindness, his wisdom, his Mercy, his Grace, saved my life. I cannot repay the debt, but I can pay forward.

Mercy Street, by Peter Gabriel is what he gave me: