Category Archives: Thinking of Friends

Day 5

Do you have friends that hold you accountable?  Friends that will call you out when you start to slack or don’t perform at your best potential?  If so, hold onto them with all your might!  If not, create and cultivate friendships where a person can tell you when you are being a fool, lazy, wonderful, amazing and just be an overall barometer for your emotional/physical health.

I was lying in bed, after reading Edgar Allan Poe’s “Black Cat” (HAPPY BIRTHDAY POE!!) to the family, watching videos of paragon falcons with mounted videos on their heads as they hunt crows.  To be privy to their point of view is alarming and beautiful!  While losing myself in the flight of fancy I receive a text.  Here is what it said:  “I thought for a minute you became a JW then it was ‘oh she’s keeping the sabbath.”  Then I remembered your an atheist which means your 3 days behind on writing.  Not even a cop out line.  How many more before you need to start over?  You’re at 50% now???”

William Hobbs, thank you for keeping me at my word.  Thank you for calling me out AND refusing to take my “cop outs” as an excuse.  It seems that if I have time to watch crows be chased to their doom, I have time to sit down and, at a minimum, type a thank you.  Too often we placate others, for various reasons, one being fear of confrontation.  I, however, look for people who will call my bluff and have civil dialogue.  Every person should be so lucky to have one of these friends.  I have surrounded myself with them, as I feel that they are a reflection of myself that I am not privy too.

And though I never started this blog with the goal of having a large readership (which I still don’t have) knowing one person looks forward to what you have to say makes my goal of 100 writings more pleasant and gives me motivation.  THANKS HOBBS!!

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Ode to Summer

I want to write, but what is there to say that hasn’t been spoken?  Wouldn’t I just be crafting a work of art that would be considered Mimetic?

Often times, while sitting in my white pillared, warm and worn home, I stare out the front window.  Through this looking glass I’m presented with big green leaves that are kissed by the sun, the gossip of robins and caws of unseen crows.  The old tree, with his bark stained chocolate brown with age, bends to and fro in the breeze of the summer afternoon.  The chitchat of the neighborhood provides a low hum as the afternoon sun burns, slowly sinking to the west.

In these moments of normality I often question what more is there to write about? What is more beautiful then an afternoon summer?

It couldn’t be the stark boney fingers of the Maple tree protruding into the grey skies.  It couldn’t be the harrowing cries of wind pushing the brown crunchy leaves across the road.  And with great confidence I declare, it couldn’t possibly be the screech of metal shovels pushing aside the slushy tears of Mother Nature.

Summer allows us to embrace nature, to sit with her, caress her golden braids of light and dive into the warmth of her waters.  Summer allows for naked feet to massage her back and for hands to grip her as they aspire to climb to new perspective.  Summer is living.

Perhaps there would be those that disagree, and who am I to say their opinions are wrong?  However, I’d say that those people would rather argue these points on a friendly porch, with slices of lemon wedges adorning their drinks.  Sitting on Adirondack chairs of youth and flipped flopped feet, we’d lock horns on it’s worth.  Quarrelling in the cumbersome costumes of winter would dampen the mood.  We can agree that most would rather sip on foamy beer, in tank tops, and debate over a sizzling BBQ than sip on unreliable ciders and wait for the electric glow of appliances.

Summer, my heart grows wane and murky while you vacation.  You know I will wait as patient as possible, and upon your return, I will shower you with laughter and late night visits.  I will stoke your heart with stories over fire pits and warm your mind with gooey marshmallows.  Most of all, I’ll show my kids how to treat you with care so that you will continue to return and teach them how too love as deeply as a Shepherd’s Tree.

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Filed under Family Time, Making a home, My kids, My thoughts, Thinking of Friends

Beautiful Chaos

Beautiful Chaos

Line up pills to help my head,

Missing a dose, taking the wrong med

Is guaranteed chaos.

Smile and pretend its fine.

Keep towing the line.

Part game, part reality

No really, it’s not senility.

I just can’t take the pain

The shame, the blame,

This is guaranteed chaos.

Drowning while my world

Is burning down,

Yet I won’t let you win!

Shadows are difficult to catch

To glimpse, to kill.

William, just take a pill.

This is controlled chaos.

Remember to forget:

Pain

Voices

Confusion

Do not surrender! Do not relent!

Do not resent! Live in the present.

This is controllable chaos.

You are not alone

I too chase shadows,

Run them up meadows,

Making them surrender, relent,

And resent entering my mind.

This is now their chaos!

Together we are shadow chasers

Making them hide, cower and burn.

One day they will learn!

Together we are strong!

Together we are dedicated!

Together we are true!

Together we are beautiful chaos!

Together we are perfectly flawed…

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Sonny Ricks

“What’s so new about Mexico”?

That is the question Sonny posed to me while driving down Washington Blvd.  Though I was no geography expert, at 16 I knew the states pretty well.  I was laughing, assuming he was making a joke.  When I turned to look at him he was staring at me seriously.  “Are you being serious?”  I said laughing.  “Yes!  What the hell is so new about Mexico?”  I couldn’t breath I was laughing so hard.  “Sonny, it’s a state!”  I replied.  “No it’s not.”  Sonny was two years my senior and definitely a smart guy.  Why this failed to make sense to him still has me laughing today.  He didn’t believe that New Mexico was a state until I went home (to my parents house) and looked it up in the set of encyclopedias my parents owned.  Even then he thought it was some conspiracy against him.

Or the time he came home from the police academy and was complaining of his calf hurting.  We looked and he had two small red marks on his calf.  Sonny looked at me with all sincerity and said, “I think a snake bit me.”  I started to roll around on the carpet in laughter and said, “You didn’t get bit by a snake.”  Sonny’s retorted, “You DON’T KNOW, you’ve never been bitten by a snake!!”  I was in tears from laughter and said, “…Neither have you!”

Sonny always had the ability to make me laugh.  His sense of humor was off the wall and his wit was quick.  We spent so many hours just driving around and talking about what we were going to be when we grew up.  We’d listen to police scanners, knowing that this would help us learn the 10 codes, and just dream of the day we’d become cops.  For me it was a way to show every teacher that said I couldn’t be a cop I could, but for Sonny it was a way to help those less fortunate.

When Sonny was finally hired on as Salt Lake City Police it was one of his most proud moments.  Unfortunately it would be our marriages downfall.

I met him when I was 13, married when I was 21 and divorced when I was 22.  Those 9 years were pivotal in shaping who am I today.  We both taught each other so much about life and though he couldn’t take the strain of living anymore, I’ll always remember him as the “Dr. Pepper” guy.  It wasn’t until our divorce that Sonny turned to alcohol to medicate his emotional traumas.

In our numerous conversations in the last few years I would encourage him to get help.  Hell, I even wrote to the TV show Intervention hoping they could give him the help the rest of us couldn’t.  But in true Sonny fashion he refused help and bull headedly claimed he was doing fine.  But those of us that really knew him where aware this was a lie.  Knowing the pains he suffered as a child, the pain of our divorce, the suicide of his wife clearly led me to believe that Sonny, yet again, was suffering.

I’d take his calls at 2am and listen to his woes.  I’d listen to him speak about work, the meaning of life, the downfall of people in general.  In all of this I’d know, and tell Sonny, that he was hurting.  On numerous occasions I told him that he was acting tough when he just wanted to be weak.  Most times he’d mock me for saying such things, but I stood strong in my opinion and usually, he’d concede that he was lost.

He’d ask me over and over why I loved life.  I’d try to explain that it’s the people, groups we involve ourselves in and passion for anything that keeps people going.  I tried explaining that his love of animals could be a passion.  I told him to volunteer to anything he liked, but he just didn’t seem ready to involve himself in anything.

We spoke frankly about Aimee (his wife who committed suicide) and on most occasions he’d try to down play this traumatic event.  Well downplay isn’t the word, he’d try to act as though he were ok with it.  We all knew better.

 

On Dec. 16th I got a text from a friend that grew up with us asking if I’d heard about Sonny.  Immediately I knew.  I knew that the burden of living was just too much for Sonny and that he had taken his own life.  When it was confirmed that he was dead I didn’t even need to ask how, I knew.  I’d known for years that Sonny wasn’t meant to remain here with all the trauma he’d endured in his short life.  But even knowing this, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d done everything I could for him.  Could I have called more often?  Could I have had him over at the house more?  Could I have text him each day to make sure he was ok?

And then reality hit me.  It wouldn’t have mattered.  None of those things would have helped Sonny.  Those things would have helped me cope better.  Only Sonny could help Sonny and he was tired of trying.  And truly, who am I to judge another person and their decisions?  Who am I to say this was the wrong decision for him?  Selfishly I wish he would have chosen some other way to cope, but that’s not for me to decide right?  Selfishly I want to get more phone calls from Sonny (even the annoying early morning ones).  Selfishly I wish I could have had the perfect words to change Sonny’s life.  But none of us have this power.

So with tears in my eyes I will say goodbye to you.  I still have every single letter we ever exchanged, and when I won’t become a slobbering mess, I’ll go through them and think of you when you were happy.  I have a lock of your hair, and I’ll touch it remembering how safe you used to feel.  I still have a motorcycle key from the accident, and I’ll remember how endearing and protecting you were when tragedy struck.  I still have every picture from every high school dance and I’ll protect and preserve them for the remainder of my days.  But most of all, I have 9 years of incredible memories from when we were kids to becoming adults.  I had ALL my firsts with you.  First road trip, first dinners out, first date, first hand holding, and my first sexual experiences.  You’re an amazing man Sonny and my life would never have been the same without you.  Thank you for loving me.  I consider myself lucky that I had the chance to love you back!

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Filed under Bein a kid, Family Time, My past, My thoughts, Relationships, Thinking of Friends

Becki Woldberg Hadley

Truly, where do I begin?  My first memories of my life include you.  I can remember you were a constant in my youth.  I think I was one when we met and I can’t remember a time running through the neighborhood without you and Kelli.

One of my favorite memories was climbing up your mom’s linen closet to the little hide out/kid playroom stashed behind all the towels.  If I remember correctly you had a small table and chairs and a light with a string attached too it.  It smelled like mothballs and dust, but it was filled with giggles and plans of trouble (you know, big trouble like devising a plan to ride our bikes when it was dark out.)

I remember hide and seek, ding dong ditching and jump rope.  I remember your sister reading me Edgar Allan Poe when I was nine and since that time I’ve read him with an obsession!  I remember you playing mamba at our house and whipping your head so fast that you hit the corner of our piano chair with your forehead.

And who can forget the big wheel races in the basement?  Hitting the brakes so quickly it would whip us around in a 360!  And the big ass queen bed that we would all snuggle into when our parents were shit faced!

With all sincerity those were some of the best times of my life!  That carefree attitude with friends is what we still crave in our adult lives.

I still try to understand why it all fell apart when Kelli died.  Perhaps our parents’ seeing each other was just too much of a reminder of the past.  Perhaps we didn’t know what to say.  Perhaps it’s just a part of life to fall away from one another, but I know that you will always have a piece of me, and I’ll have a piece of you … my god, we were practically sisters!  Though it’s been ages since I’ve seen you, you truly are a part of me I carry and think about everyday!

Thank you Becki for being such a huge part of my life growing up and helping shape me into who I am today!

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Keri Lynn Jones

I was scared for her.  Rizzi was the non-bio parent to her son and I, being “new” to the lesbian world, was unsure of what could happen to her rights as a parent.  I was scared that she would lose her son.

I love research, always have and always will.  It began with a phrase in the Google bar, “Non-bio mom Utah.”  A name that I will never forget popped up.  Keri Lynn Jones.

Once I double clicked the story my heart was pounding, I was afraid of what this article would tell me.  As I read, I learned that Keri was a non-bio mom fighting to keep the rights to a little girl, who happened to be the same age as my Cheyenne.  The Utah Supreme court was reviewing her case and no decision had been made.

I became obsessive.  I would check weekly for news about this stranger’s case.  What was she feeling?  Was she optimistic?  Was she as scared shitless as I felt?  All those questions would be answered on 16 February 2007.

The Utah Supreme Court told her she wasn’t a parent.  They had the audacity to say that all the plans she made prior to her daughters arrival meant nothing.  They told her that the taking turns to feed and diaper this beautiful girl were all in vain.  But most of all, the Utah Supreme Court told Keri Lynn Jones her love for the little girls she’d spent years raising was not enough.  I was stunned.  I read the whole entire dissent and cried … and cried … and cried.  I found comfort in my daughter, but I couldn’t help but think that Keri, a complete stranger, was robbed of this comfort.

I wanted to hug her!  I wanted to fight with her!  I wanted to do ANYTHING to help this mom.  This feeling was so overwhelming that I began researching more about her.  I found out she worked at Equality Utah and, lucky day, they had a listed phone number.

I slowly picked up the phone.  I set it down. What would I say?   This woman knew nothing about me.  I picked up the phone again and set it down immediately.  I couldn’t very well call and start crying right?  I picked up the phone and began dialing.  Talking to myself (and yes it was out loud) I said, “there is nothing you can say or do to make her feel better!”  I stared at my phone.  Perhaps I was doing this to make myself feel better.

I hit send… no going back now.  My heart was racing.  I had never randomly called a stranger to let them know how bad I felt for them.  Would she be receptive or annoyed?  Would I only make this harder for her?  As these thoughts were racing through my mind I kept reminding myself not cry.

“…Hello??”  Oh geez, I missed her answering the phone because I was so wrapped up in my pep talk.

“Can I speak to Keri Lynn Jones please?” I asked.

“This is her.”

She sounded little, that was my first thought.  She sounded so young and sweet.

“Hi Keri, my name is Marcy and you have no idea who I am…”

I’m sure she had these calls numerous times and I assume that my call didn’t have a big impact, but for me it was the beginning of being involved with something larger than myself.

I can’t remember everything I said but I do remember telling her I’d hold her hand through hell to make sure she could hold that little girl again.  I remember crying, breaking a promise I made to myself prior to my call.

Since that first call so much has happened in her life…good and bad, but I’m so glad that I get to be a part of it all (even if it’s a blog post at a time.)

I think of her often, speak of her often and fight for rights on a daily basis.  Keri has taught me how to deal with adversity with grace and dignity.

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“This blog is open to invited readers only ….”

“….Please contact the blog author …”

I wish I could!  You see she left this world on March 09, 2011 and I can’t seem to delete her blog, even though I no longer have access because she isn’t here to moderate her posts.

I met her in 1997 at the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office.  She was leaving to go to Weber County and I was taking her spot … she actually gave me her badge on her way out the door.  We worked together only one day at Box Elder but our futures would be intertwined.

Come to find out numerous cops rely on rumor for truth, and the stories about Jewel had me scared of her when I was finally hired at Weber County.  I actually avoided her in the beginning, but that all changed when we were sent to training together, sharing a hotel room in St. George.

I’m an ass clown.  I’ll admit it.  I like to break the ice with humor and I didn’t change that tactic with this beautiful Polynesian co-worker.

After settling in the hotel room I wanted to take a bath and freshen up, I was sweaty from the heat of Southern Utah roasting me in my long car ride.  I entered the bathroom, started up the tub, while Jewel was meticulously unpacking her bags.

It was unreal how put together this woman was.  I had my overstuffed bag of cosmetics; deodorant, make-up  and other potions flopped out on the counter.  She had unpacked her toiletrie bag and everything had a set place on the counter.  Hairbrush, then face lotion, next to the body lotion, next to the cosmetics.  It was in order of use.  This was in major contrast to my sporadic, uncoordinated way of getting through life.

As I undressed I could hear her unpacking her bag of clothing and actually hanging up her clothes.  I had no fucking idea people actually used those closets.  I had assumed, up until this point, that everyone was like me and lived out of her bag for the few days you were thrown into key card living.  This made her interesting and uptight in my hastily formed opinion.

The bath was full of hot water and just right to relax my aching muscles.  Feet first, sit down and slip back, letting my face submerge in the water.  I slowly lift my head out of the water, like a mermaid breeching the water and close my eyes and begin to think.  Bath time for me is the best time for thinking.  On this day I couldn’t help but concentrate on breaking the ice with a co-worker I knew nothing about.  Should I start out with a little chit chat about work?  Boring!  How about recent social events in the news?  What am I thinking, I hardly keep up with world events and if she was the worldly type her assumption would be that I was a complete idiot (perhaps I was at that age.)  All the while I kept hearing the light clinking noise of hangers being hung in the small box otherwise known as a closet.

My mind wondered and I opened my eyes too be greeted again with marvel in the line up Jewel had created on the bathroom counter.  I glanced at my mess next to hers and it hit me … I didn’t bring my damn lotion!

That’s it!  That’s how I’ll open the door to conversation.  But how does one go about asking an essential stranger to borrow something?  Will she think I’m weird to be asking to use her stuff without knowing one another?  Will she assume that I’m just a person without boundaries?  Fuck I hate being a girl sometimes!

No, I’d take the path of humor and to this day I’m glad I did!

While lying naked in the tub I mustered up the sultriest voice I could and said, “Heyyyy Jewwwwel.”  At this point a smile spread across my face and it took everything I had not to laugh.  You see once those words, drenched in sex, came out of my mouth that light clicking noise of clothes IMMEDIATELY stopped and a very unsure and shaky voice answered with, “yeah??”  One thing I knew about Jewel is that she was a strong, and obviously, well put together person and I had just thrown her for a loop.  Once that shaky response was given I changed tactics.  With a voice that can only be described as “Barbiesk” with all the perkiness of a cheerleading squad, I said, “Can I borrow your lotion.”  You heard the relief in her voice.  I heard her sigh and she responded, in much the same voice as mine, “of course you can.”  That’s all it took.  That one moment of ass clownery changed our whole dynamic.

I let the water out of the tub, draped a towel around my body and walked towards the counter, spying all the delicious flavors of lotion to choose from.

TBC ….

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Filed under My past, My thoughts, Relationships, Thinking of Friends