When Nightmares are Real

Until you’ve been beside a man/ You don’t know what he wants
You don’t know if he cries at night/ You don’t know if he don’t
When nothin’ comes easy/ Old nightmares are real
Until you’ve been beside a man/ You don’t know how he feels

Bob Seeger

Influx of Emotions

I have been going through so much emotional baggage lately.  As I sit down and process the death of my father, which took place nearly 19 years ago, I have had to sit down and emotionally unpack the luggage that I have carried around with me for so long.ninna-nanna-mamma-tienimi-con-te Yet I have just denied its existence at the same time.  Mostly because that was what I was taught to do.  I had a narcissist for a mother, and she taught me that my loss was benign because only her trauma mattered.  If I was grieving she found a way to make me suffer.  I learned my grief wasn’t important in life. So my luggage grew and grew over the years.  Now, a marriage and kids later, I am saying enough is enough. Continue reading “Influx of Emotions”

IN THE PARSHAH: CAN A PIG BE KOSHER?

I found this weeks E-Torah portion from Chabad-Lubavitch of Indiana very thought provoking. I thought i would share it here in copy and paste format. I take no credit whatsoever.

Who isn’t turned off by a hypocrite? Most of us try to keep away from people who act outwardly righteous, yet are immoral on the inside. Judaism admires the quality of being “of one mouth and one heart,” someone who feels as they act.

But that doesn’t mean you should alwaysact or say how you feel!

Sure, we appreciate honesty, but don’t be ruthlessly insulting just because you’re in a lousy mood. Clearly, there are times when our insides are better left inside. Everyone around us doesn’t need to suffer from our grouchy temperament.

We learn this concept in this week’s parshah from the pig. Kosher land animals must chew their cuds and have split hoofs. The Torah lists four animals that have only one kosher symbol and are therefore not kosher. The camel, hyrax and hare chew their cud but don’t have split hoofs, whereas only the pig has split hooves but does not chew its cud.

And the swine, though it divides the hoof and is cloven-footed, yet it does not chew the cud; it is unclean to you. (Lev. 11:7)

The Midrash compares the swine to an individual who acts more “kosher” or righteous than he really is. “The swine, when reclining, puts forth its hooves, as if to say: ‘See, I am kosher!’”

Such hypocritical, deceitful behavior is reprehensible to us. Perhaps that’s why the pig has become the archetype of non-kosher animals.

Yet the Hebrew name for a pig is chazir, which literally means “to return.” “Why is its name called chazir? Because in the future, G‑d will return it to Israel.” (Ritv”a, Kidushin 49b)

The pig’s Hebrew name hints that it is unkosher for as long as it only has split hoofs. In the era of Moshiach, however, when its nature will be altered and it will chew its cud, it will become kosher (Ohr Chaim).

The animal’s physical symbols represent spiritual characteristics. Regurgitating its cud reflects the quality where one’s inner character is refined and introspective. Split hooves—the animal’s limb of activity—reflect outward, practical good deeds. The pig has split hooves, its good deeds are many; however, its innards are not yet refined.

From all the non-kosher animals, the pig is unique in its “return” to kosher status in the time of Moshiach when the world will be cleansed of negativity. And thus, the pig has an important message for us.

While we strive to be “kosher” in both our inner character and our outward deeds, no one is perfect. Just because your insides aren’t yet perfectly refined doesn’t mean that your deeds should be equally imperfect. So if you’re angry, refrain from lashing out. If you’re feeling stingy, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t open your purse.

In fact, try the opposite. Focus on doing good deeds and acting outwardly kindly. Eventually, your insides will follow

Reclaiming Memories

I need to start reclaiming memories. The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.  So much has been lost over the years fighting with my mom, and having my head turned in all the wrong directions.  Instead of grieving him, and honoring him, and remembering him.  I spent time forgetting him, or fighting=g what he wasn’t.  So now its time to go back and remember what he was.  And share that, not only with myself, and reclaim it for me, but also with the grandchildren who will never know him.

 

So let start with the ugly.

 

I remember when there was all this hoopla about President Obama picking his nose at some summit or some meeting or something.  Don’t believe me… well here

GoodnaturedPleasedDunlin-size_restricted

Even the President of the United States of America picks his nose in public Ladies and gentlemen.  But not my Daddy.  Nope, he would only do it while he was driving.  See, by his logic, of some insanely large IQ (like 190 or something insanely unreasonably high) he says his vehicle is his private property.  And if people didn’t like what he was doing in his private space, they didn’t have to look into his private vehicle at him picking his nose.  Now, how he justified rolling it up into a tight little ball and flicking it out the window into public space?  I don’t know, I never asked him.  I was so impressed with the logic about his “private space” I guess he had an equally logical justification.  And to be honest, you just didn’t question dad.  This is how he got mom off his back when she was telling him how gross it was.

He has an equally logical explanation about why he didn’t blow his nose, but would rather sniff all his snot back in, and swallow it.  It built his immune system up.  Honestly, though, I think it was about annoying my mother, because this was, again, a justification to her when she was harping on him about how gross it was.  Because to him the other option was “Well honey, what would you like me to do, snot rocket it?”  To which she would get all upset and grossed out even further and real high pitch like, saying something like “no, use a tissue, and blow your nose.”    And he would go on and on about his immune system and that why he never gets sick!

 

My dad was really slippery and good at always having a well thought out, yet right on the spot, justification for everything.  It was quite impressive.  Yet probably mostly bullshit.  I wish I could have observed it as an adult, with the benefits of Google.  Just to see how bullshit-y he really was.  That would have been fun.

 

He always did say that someday we would walk around with computers in our pockets.  No one ever believed him.  Yet he never even got to see the day of instant text messaging.  Let along an African American President of the United States of America pick his nose on Television.  Look how much he has missed!

Unrequited Love

Unrequited love knows no bounds,

It keeps giving, no matter the return.

It always loves no matter the pain.

Unconditional love?

Has there ever been one so filled with suffering?

It is the heartbreak that returns,

The brokeness that endures,

Day after day, after ceaseless day.

Always finding hope, even when there is none to be seen.

Doubt determined, to see it through.

Unrelentless in it zeal to keep the flame of life alive.

Beleiving it about to change, in circumstances daunting.

Wiping the record clean always,

For the dream alive and passion fullfilled.

A lonely burden to bear,

Left to die alone in the stillness of a bleeding life.

Unrequited love, the saddest death in darkness eternal.

Can I endure, if this my fate be?

Soul, leave me now, unreturned forever still.

6 people

They say suicide deeply touches at least 6 people. But you didn’t know my dad. He was like the sun, in arizona, his life touched everyone.

I mean, lunch visits at school from him were the highlight of my life. It was the only time i didn’t eat alone. Everyone wanted to be near him.

So if his presence touched every in life, how many did his death touch?

Surely more than six!

Okay, so let’s count this dad. Those you touched on a regular basis. On an intimate level. From your defiant 15 year old daughters perspective.

Me

My mom

My brother

My grandmother

Your best friend and business partner

Pastor and best friend

Associate Pastor

Other associate junior pastor

Small group co-leader

Leader’s wife

Friend 1

Wife

Friend 2

Wife

Ex-fiance

Police responder and friend

His father

I’m hesitant to put the foster kids in here as i want to hog his memory all to myself. But i know that what my parents did for them what tremendous. And at the time we had 3 or 4 kids that were deeply influenced by my father and greatly affected by my father. Maybe 2 more. And its possibly even more heard about his death and were greaves. My parents did a lot of good. But my mind wants to be selfish in its grief and not share. But i know that’s not fair or realistic to others who mourn him

I’m sure their were others but these are the ones i remember. The ones that were still around after the funeral was over

You were greatly loved dad. And your suicide rocked this country.

And you are still missed very much.

Abandoned & All Alone

You were the strongest man I ever knew

You were my strength

MY foundation

My butterfly kisses

And my bird’s wings

The determination in each step

And the push that kept me going

The fire in my attitude

And the tit for my tat in each fight

You lost everything in a moment

Your family

Your career

Your home

In the end, it was for naught

You were left to face it all alone

I wish I could have known

So I could have been there for you

But I was only fifteen

I was still so little

I see that now

alone

I am so sorry we abandoned you

And left you all alone!

I am so sorry

I am so so sorry I am the one who has felt so sorry for myself and never stopped to think about how cold and alone and cold you were on the outside of it all.

No wonder you left this world and said goodbye to us all.  We had already turned our back on you and said our goodbyes.  The world had turned its back on you and shut you out.  What was there left for you?

The mother of your children had already begun to turn us away from you.  And you knew her oh so well.  You knew how that would turn out.

Even dead she didn’t stop.  And 19 years later I am only starting to grieve the truth.  Even 3 or 4 years after learning it.  I guess I wasn’t ready to face it yet.

I am so sorry daddy!

I wish you were here to beg my forgiveness.

What I wouldn’t give to just wrap my arms around you just once more!