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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A change of Focus

I had a tough time of it last Friday, meeting with the DA, and going over my son's homicide case brought a plethora of emotions to the surface as well as unwanted images to plague me. I immediately dove into the safe haven of a book; five days and five books later I am ready to work on banishing the gloom and come out of hiding. There is more to the story; the meeting was just the catalyst dropping me close to despair. Earlier that week, on Christmas Eve, I had dreamt of my son Joey. In the dream I knew it was Christmas, and I got to hug him and run my hand over his head as I used to do all the time to feel the soft bristle of his short hair that he kept so close shaved. But his hair had grown, and I knew that time was passing for him still, and while I noticed that he wasn’t all smiles and gladness, I was so glad to have seen him the joy of it carried me through Christmas day. But the disturbing elements of the dream kept pushing their way forward, and as I let myself recall the details it became more and more clear that there was a message for me beyond the comfort of his hug. I feel I need to delve a bit into my personal beliefs here. My grandmother would often say that "The road to hell is paved with good intentions", and in my youth I thought of hell as a place one might go after death depending upon one’s actions here on earth. But my beliefs have changed; I know now that we create our own heaven or hell right here in this life, that it isn't someplace we necessarily go after our body dies. Suffice it to say that I am not happy with what I have created for myself here, that after he died I made a promise to my son that I would not let his passing ruin the rest of my life here, and I intend to work on keeping that promise. So back to the dream, maybe you have had one like it, where it is a true visitation rather than a fantasy. It was such a real moment, and I will be forever grateful for that visit, I needed that hug desperately. But in the dream there were signs for me that I had been trying to ignore. I knew from his hair that time was passing for him too, it had grown and lost its bristle, and in his manner I knew that somehow my struggling here was affecting him there. He was not all happy and ‘basking in the glory of heaven’ – his head hung, and he wasn’t looking at me; his stress and the message was clear...get my shit together and quit holding him back. Can our lives here really impact those beyond the grave? I know that before in my life I have leaned on the strength of spirits gone on, and had a sort of “everything must be good over there” attitude for much of my life. But why would the rules change just because a soul has skipped over to a different plane of existence? I can’t believe that this world is the be all and end all of effort, that there is no other chance to grow and thrive. So yes, I give voice to a couple of things. That I think we continue on our journey of learning and growing after we leave this world, and I believe that my connection to my son is still there, and that what I do now does indeed matter to him, and I think that perhaps my dream was an answer to that unasked question.

Funny, I sat down today to write about working on my stress in this new year, and how important it was to my mental state to get my physical shit together; you know, eating healthy and exercising – the whole taking care of the temple thing so the mind can heal. But as I kept writing and rearranging the words the character of the entry started taking on a life of its own. But the basic message is the same; I need to take better care of myself, I need to work on being happy and setting a good example for my children wherever they are. So to that end I have some tough chores ahead this year. I need to respect the fact that I still have a life to lead here; my own Wyrd to fulfill here so to say. I have some obstacles to overcome, one of them being that like so many others I am a stress eater. I believe we are what we eat, and while I have spent quite a bit of time figuring out what is healthy for me to eat, I am ashamed of the way I can so easily disregard what I know at a moments notice, or at the drop of a bread basket accompanied by those evil little slivers of butter. Food and exercise are so simple and so fundamentally important to creating heaven on earth, why do they challenge us so? It is time to put into practice what I have spent the past years learning, it is time to believe in myself, because after all, I made a promise.

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