It’s been 10 years now since Drew saw his children. Alexander would be 22 now; Corrine, 18; and Mikael, 16.
He remembers it as if it were yesterday. Drew got off work early to surprise his wife, Stephanie, with five airplane tickets to her hometown, Valparaiso, Chile. When he got home Mikael did not do his usual running head start before jumping on Drew’s back. Corrine was not in the kitchen helping her mother prepare dinner as she liked to do. And Alexander was not a soccer practice. They were sitting on the sofa in the family room. Corrine was crying and Mikael was asleep. Stephanie was visibly upset. She looked more angry than afraid and Alexander didn’t show any emotion at all.
“What’s wrong?” Drew said stepping in the family room.
Drew turned around to see his father-in-law, brothers-in-law, and three other men he didn’t know in his family room with guns.
“Drew,” his father-in-law said. “It is time for Estefania to take her rightful place.”
“Rightful place? What are you talking about, Josef.”
“It does not concern you.”
“Stephanie, do you know what he is talking about?”
“Estefania,” he says with emphasis on her name. “Estefania is very well aware of what is going on. I have tried to reason with her for years, but she would hear nothing of it. She claimed that she loves you. Time has run out and she must be delivered to take her rightful place.”
Drew sets off toward Josef, but two of the henchmen stop him before he reaches Josef.
“Drew. Please don’t make this any harder than what it already is. Estefania and the children will be well taken care of. What you are about to do is going to be very hard for you, but it must be done.” Josef reaches into his briefcase, pulls out some paper and the men holding Drew force him to sit at the desk where Josef places the papers. He says, “These are divorce papers. You will sign them and in process you will also relinquish parental rights.”
“No. I won’t do it.”
“Oh, but I think you will,” Josef says nodding to the third. He pulls out a knife and places it to Corrine’s throat.
“Daddy!” she screams.
“Okay. Okay.” Drew signs the papers and Josef puts them back in his briefcase. He nods to Stephanie’s brothers and they usher Stephanie, Alexander, Corrine, and Mikael out of the house.
“This really never should have happened,” Josef says. “I tried to get her to come to her senses long ago.” He starts to leave, “The pain will go away.”
It’s been nearly ten years and the pain has not gone away. The wound is still open and deep and with each breath and every passing moment his heart breaks a little more. And as he has done for the last nine and half years, Drew goes to sleep with a bottle of scotch in one hand and his dad’s .357 in the other.
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Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. ~~Oscar Wilde
I came across this the other day. I, too, like many of you out there struggle with forgiveness and resentment and coming to terms with what someone else did to you. I read this on Oprah.com and thought I’d share.
- Say a Prayer
Whenever angry feelings about a person who’s harmed you enter your mind, tell yourself: “We are all good, loving souls who occasionally get lost.” Pray for this person to find their way back to a happier place.
- Focus on Gratitude
Resist seeking happiness from the outside in. Instead, focus on gratitude exercises to bring happiness from the inside out. If you allow your self-image to be at the mercy of unpredictable events and unreliable people, your happiness will be forever on a chaotic roller coaster ride! Happiness must always be an inside joy! When you are tempted to focus on all the ways the world has done you wrong, instead count your blessings by making a list of the five aspects of your life that you appreciate. It is good practice to purposefully end your day this way to keep focused.
- Look for the Lesson
Many Buddhists consider huge difficulties to be a sign you’re an old soul—the bigger your misfortunes, the closer you are to enlightenment. Whether you believe this or not, it’s certainly cheery to reframe all your life’s bad events as tests of your character. If you feel particularly tested right now, ask yourself what the heck you’re being tested for! Patience? Compassion? Resilience? Forgiveness? Open-mindedness? What strengths must you develop further? Now consciously go out there and develop them!
- Maintain Perspective
If you’re going through a challenging time, remind yourself that this specific event is merely a part of your life—not your “whole” life. Consciously keep this “slice of life” perspective, and don’t let the event overwhelm you. As the song goes, “The best is yet to come!”
- Learn the Lesson
Develop a “student not victim” mentality. Vow not only to disentangle yourself from emotionally harmful situations, but also to consciously avoid similar situations in the future.
- Let Go of Resentment
Keep in mind a fabulous Carrie Fisher quote: “Resentment is the poison you swallow hoping the other person will die.” Recognize that when you resent someone, you are not only hurting yourself, you’re also giving this person control of your emotions—and you don’t want to give this person bubkes!
- Stay Centered
Recognize that when you respond with hate to hate, anger to anger, bitterness to bitterness, you are ironically becoming part of the problem. Choose to resist becoming like them and instead put in the conscious effort to remain a loving, soulful, happy person.
- Get Revenge Positively
Contemplating revenge? The best kind of revenge is living a successful, happy life. If you train yourself to consistently be more loving in thoughts and actions, your energy will attract more positive people and positive results. As Albert Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem by staying in the same energy in which it was created.” To stay focused on highly positive thoughts, repeat this meditation ritual throughout the day: “Love, forgiveness, letting go, peace.”
Alright today I decided to tackle two challenges in one post. The Daily Post Prompt: Places and the Trifecta weekend challenge of writing a piece using: 1) only 33 words and 2) it had to be in first person. So here it or rather they are. Enjoy!
I never yearned for writing our names in the sand or skiing or camping as long as she was here. Now she’s gone — that’s all I long for, and her at my side.
Make sure to check these out too:
- Hey, Let’s Have A Coffee | The Jittery Goat
- The Long Days Out | The Daily Dilly Dally
- Dailly Prompt: Places | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
- Daily Prompt: Places, Who Doesn’t Like The Beach? | Creative Mysteries
- Daily Prompt: Places Tranquility | Lines by Linda
- A Convergence of Energies | Miss Pelican’s Perch
- The Isolated College Town | Liquid Matthew’s Development Blog
- DAILY PROMPT: BORACAY | aapatawaran
- Daily prompt – Places | Joe’s Musings
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- Daily Prompt: Places | Purple Rosemary
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- Places | thelissachronicles
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- Daily Prompt: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! | Happy Monkey Land and Other Musings on Life
- Daily Prompt: Where My Heart Is | One Starving Activist
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If you celebrate or even love Valentine’s Day then you probably want to bypass reading this post.
This notion of ‘Be Mine’, ‘Be My Valentine’, and a host of other sayings begins its indoctrination in elementary school, maybe sooner. I don’t remember the first time I was forced by my teacher to go out and get those packs of Valentine’s Day cards for my classmates.
We would tape a little bag on the edge of our desk and run around the classroom like the little gremlins we were chucking those cards into those little red, pink, or white bags. Admittedly that was the most fun. Then we’d sit down with glee and couldn’t wait to see who got what from whom. And if that wasn’t enough we had to do that ‘Secret Valentine’ thing. By golly if the majority of us kids didn’t come to school with those boxes of Life Savers to give to our ‘Secret Valentine.’ Honestly even then I hated it. Perhaps it’s because inevitably I always picked the name of the kid I couldn’t stand and he or she couldn’t stand me. Oh the Horror! The Horror! The angst I went through to get that box of Life Savers. So maybe, just maybe that’s when my psyche was ingrained, that I would be buying Valentine’s Day stuff for people I didn’t like.
Over the years, I have bought many a Valentine for people I care a great deal about — my mom, dad, sister, grandparents, boyfriends, best friends and each time it stirs up that same angst from so long ago. It actually angers me now that this is the one day — outside of birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas) that gives people a pass on professing their ‘unconditional’ love for someone who they supposedly love 364 other days of the year (365 on Leap Year). Or perhaps it’s the sheer capitalism in it.
It’s the one day in which it’s okay for a grown man to give a grown woman (perhaps the mother of his children) a stuffed bear with a big ole red heart in the center that says: “I Love You”, “Be Mine”, or some other trite saying. And of course the heart-shaped box of chocolates along with the heart-shaped balloon. Oh dear, I very nearly forgot the flowers. The flowers that wilt and die seven to ten days after you’ve gotten them, which typically coincides with you eating the last chocolate out of your heart-shaped chocolate box. It’s also the one day that your ‘Valentine’ is über nice to you. Again what happened to the other days of the year?
Flower shops and jewelery stores and lingerie stores and Godiva and Lindor chocolates love to see you coming. It’s definitely their most lucrative day of the year. I of course definitely appreciate you contributing to the economy on this oh so important and ‘special day’.
Some say that I’m a Valentine’s Day hater because I’m single. I can safely assure you that is not why I don’t like Valentine’s Day. Granted it is geared to couples, which of course irritates the living crap out of me. But that’s not the reason.
"The sum total of my life experience profited more from negative than positive events. When you’re able to survive and reach another level of awareness it gives you more strength and confidence and enriches life more...." Cicely Tyson
My dear friend and fellow blogger, Barbara of zeroto60andbeyond fame, had the Cicely Tyson quote on her post and it resonated deeply with me.
This inspired me so, I had to re-blog it and make it the Monday Motivation.
Everyone has secrets. Some secrets come out of a sincere desire not to hurt the ones you love the most, while others come about because you’re ashamed, and still yet others come about because you are afraid of how others might judge you. But no matter how a secret comes about they are usually terrible things to bear.
I kept the secret to myself for years, but once I hit my teenage years it became increasingly difficult to hide. Growing up in a very tight knit, Read the rest of this entry