31 Day Music Challenge: Day 5 A Song that Reminds You of Someone

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-vZlrBYLSU

“Every long lost dream led me to where you are.

Others who broke my heart,

they are like northern stars

pointing me on my way

into your loving arms.

This much I know is true,

that god blessed the broken road

that led me straight to you.” 

Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts reminds me of my husband.  Love these lyrics about the long and winding road of life and love.  Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing because everything I did led me exactly to where I am now.  Even at the time if I thought it was a tough experience or the end of a road or relationship, I didn’t know where I would be now. Sometimes it’s true that when one door closes another one opens.

We met in 1998 after both having failed first marriages. I had just moved to Reno, NV (long story). I was thirty years old, a new teacher with my master’s degree, a single mom with a five-year old daughter.  He was a  25-year-old college student (started college at 24 years old) working at the gym.  We were in different places in our lives, but we met at the gym, and we fell in love.  We got married a year later and had two children together.  He finished his education and became a lawyer.  I’m so thankful that our paths crossed and hopeful for our future together.

The Broken Road

The Broken Road (Photo credit: aaronmcintyre)

See the whole music challenge list at DeBie Hive.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

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February Friday Fiction #5: Eyes are the Window to the Soul

February is romance month in my Fearless Fiction Femmes Fatales group.  We write different fictional stories based on the same prompts from Molly Field at Grass Oil.  Make sure to visit the other blogs to see what stories they wrote (links at bottom of this entry).   If you missed the January Fiction episodes, you can click on this link to start at the beginning:

https://susannenelson.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/january-fiction-challenge-1413-lesson-learned/

femmesfatales

He didn’t know it would be the last time he looked into her eyes when he complimented her.  “You have the prettiest eyes,” he said as if really seeing them for the first time.  They were deep green like the ocean on the Emerald Coast of Florida.  There was depth and breadth and body in her eyes.   There was kindness and wisdom, and there was naivety at the same time.   She was younger than he, barely more than half his age.  When they were saying goodbye, her eyes caught his attention.

She smiled in return and said a simple, “thanks,”  followed with a shy laugh.  They were both a little embarrassed and uncomfortable with the connection taking place, but were both overpowered by it nonetheless.  The chemistry between them was strong, and when they made eye contact it felt like fireworks inside for both of them.  Time stood still.  A rush of emotion flooded over them as they both grasped for words awkwardly.

He now understood why people say that eyes are the window to the soul.   He never noticed how striking her eyes were until then.   He felt a soul connection with her, and it grew deeper that sunny afternoon.  Perhaps it was the universe’s way of letting him see into her soul before it was too late?  It’s funny how things work that way.

green eyed girl..

green eyed girl.. (Photo credit: ~no bullshit~)

They met at the hospital one day when a mutual friend introduced them.  If he knew what kind of pain their relationship would cause in the future, he would have turned her away, but he didn’t have any way of telling the future.   All he could do was live life fully each day and hope that his actions today would bring him to  brighter and better tomorrows.They hugged, said goodbye, and she went on her way smiling and waving.  It was a warm and friendly embrace. She smelled like a fresh breeze, and he got goosebumps from feeling that breeze rush through his senses. The sun shone behind her blonde hair like a halo.  Her smile and her beautiful eyes were forever etched into his memory.   He waved,  admiring her fit petite body as she walked away.   God she is gorgeous he thought to himself.  He got lost for a few minutes speculating what it would be like to be intimate with her.   He imagined she had a body like a Victoria’s Secret model under her hospital scrubs.  She sent flirtatious messages, and although they were subtle he picked up on them.  They got along so well, and her hugs were so genuine.   She felt so natural in his arms. He felt young and desirable again when he was with her.  She’s way too young, and besides I’m married he reminded himself.  He felt guilty for even letting himself follow that thought.  If he acted on his impulses, it might be wonderful temporarily, but it would crush his family and ruin his life.

He was clearly in the lustful stages of attraction and infatuation with her.   He only knew her for about six months. They started meeting for lunches then taking walks together when they could steal away the moments.  They got along in a best-friendly manner even though they were in vastly different stages of their lives.  He saw her only at work when she was at her best. They laughed and told each other stories.  There was nothing to fight about and no boring routine to get used to.  She admired his maturity and prestigious reputation as one of the best neurosurgeons in the country.  She flattered him and brought to life a vibrant part of him that had been lying dormant for a long time.

His wife was his best friend a long time ago, but their romance turned into attachment and commitment.  It evolved into responsibility and day-to-day mundaneness.  He loved his wife, but he hadn’t looked into her eyes that way in more than a decade.  It was a very different kind of love.  The passion had waned from his marriage.

Although his life appeared perfect from the outside, he was suffering a lonely existence.  Tragedy befell his family when two of his children died in a car accident.  His wife withdrew into herself, sinking into a downward spiral of depression.  He felt disconnected from her emotionally and physically.  He struggled with his commitment and responsibilities to her and his family versus the passion he felt for this young woman.  He wished he could get all of his needs met by one woman so he didn’t have to struggle internally this way.  He imagined starting all over again with a new relationship, a new life with a young wife free from complications.  He couldn’t get it off his mind, but he went through the motions when he got home from work that night.  He ate some dinner and retreated to his office where he ‘worked’ until midnight while the house was quiet.  He did have some paperwork to catch up on, but mainly it was an excuse to be alone with his deviant thoughts.  He carefully weighed his options and decided to sleep on things.  Perhaps they could meet for lunch again tomorrow and see where things go on their own.

The next day, he woke up early with the alarm at 5:30am.  He went through his morning routine getting ready for work.  He had a full schedule seeing patients all day.   He turned on the news while he ate breakfast.  “Breaking news,” went across the bottom of the screen.  “23 year old woman found dead from an apparent drug overdose.  Police are investigating evidence collected at the scene.  More on this story when we return.”  Pictures  of her apartment building and her face filled the screen before programming broke for a commercial.    Her green eyes looked right through him.  He couldn’t believe what he was seeing and hearing.

His heart sank and his stomach flip-flopped.  He felt a wave of dizziness and sank to his knees.  He couldn’t hide his grief or mask his reaction.  Tears poured from his brown eyes uncontrollably, and he put his hands to his forehead and tried to slow his breathing.  He just saw her yesterday.  How could she be gone today?  Drug overdose? 

His wife heard him crying and came out of the bedroom to see what was going on. “Richard? Is everything ok?”  There was no answer.  He didn’t know what to say.  She held him as he wept.  The news came back on continued with more details. Cocaine and prescription bottles were discovered in the bathroom where her body was found.  There was no suicide note, so it’s not apparent if it was intentional or accidental.  “Did you know her?”  she asked.

“Yes, from the hospital,” he finally managed to answer.

“I’m sorry honey, why in the world would a beautiful young girl like that want to do drugs anyway?”  she didn’t know what to say either.

Richard was speechless.  Usually he was the strong person in the family.  Now he needed support.

__________________

Here is the prompt:   When was the last time you looked into someone’s gorgeous eyes? Maybe they were sea green and seemed to have all the secrets of the world behind them? What would happen if you had a chance to know this person intimately?

Then you find that person has a dark secret that would bring your perfect but lonely life to its knees.

Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompt:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/
http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/
http://www.bulamamani.com/
http://www.itsadomelife.com/
http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/
http://www.mollyfield.com/
http://neargenius1.blogspot.com/
http://the-suds-box.blogspot.ca/
http://www.quirkychrissy.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@clearlykristal
@worldsworstmoms
@BuLaMamaNi
@SusanneNelson1
@ItsADomeLife
@DeBieHive
@MollyFieldTweet
@monsterNbox
@chrissawoj
@Near_Genius

Thanks for reading. Peace out!

Related articles:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-436932/Scientists-discover-eyes-really-window-soul.html

http://thedailylove.com/the-eyes-are-the-window-to-the-soul/

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/viewnews.php?id=224296

Daily Prompt: Un/Faithful (Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life – or doesn’t)

To me, faith is wishing, hoping, positive thinking.  I don’t think it hurts, but I also don’t think it helps.  In a religious context, I’ve struggled with faith over the years. In fact I wrote a blog entry the other day explaining my position on religion and faith.  Here is a link in case you haven’t read it yet.

https://susannenelson.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/what-does-christmas-mean-to-you/

I don’t have faith that prayer works, but I don’t think it hurts to pray (to wish and hope for a desired outcome).  But over and over, I’ve seen prayers come back with tragedy (especially in the case where someone dies and people have been praying and praying for healing).

Thanks for reading. Peace out.

People are People

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20121130-143353.jpg

What makes people think people of other religions are any less valuable as human beings? We heard this before from one of our neighbors who said a life in Iran or Afghanistan isn’t worth as much as a life here in the US and that we are god’s chosen people and other countries look to us like a beacon on a hill.

I heard it again today in a message regarding a religious post I put on Facebook yesterday. My friend told me that nations that seek god are blessed and those who don’t are not blessed, even cursed (and uses Israel as an example).

I’m sorry, but I completely disagree. People are people. Period. Because one sect believes something doesn’t make them any better than another sect that believes something different. This is part of the problem in the world today. We can’t see each other as human beings sharing life on the same planet and respect each other’s differences.

My Christian friends think they are right about everything including the unknowable mysteries of the universe (despite scientific evidence to the contrary) and that everybody else in the world is going to hell. When we debate, it always comes down to blind faith. Nothing makes sense, but you just have to believe it anyway. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t work for me. I’m not saying they are wrong either. I’m just saying they can’t be right while everybody else in the world is wrong. And they don’t know the mysteries of the universe just like I don’t know the mysteries of the universe. It’s harder to admit you don’t really know than it is to have blind faith. There is no comforting story for what happens after we die. As hard as that is to accept, I’m sticking with agnosticism.

30 Days of Truth: Day 19 – What Do You Think of Religion? or What Do You Think of Politics?

Religion and Politics…the third rail.  These are two topics people often say NOT to talk about.  However these are also two topics that are on my mind on a daily basis.  Since this prompt asked…let me answer the questions.

Politics:
I’m a democrat and I support President Obama.  I’ve voted in every election since I was eighteen, and I voted democrat every time despite being raised by a republican mother.  I even worked for the Young Republicans when I was growing up in a DC suburb.  I opened President Reagan‘s mail!  I’m pretty sure it was my love affair with the environment and my genuine caring for those less fortunate than I that led me to lean left.  The more informed I become on issues, I find that I fall left of center. I’m pretty vocal about my convictions on my facebook site, so I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain much more here.  I even started my blog and facebook fan page so I would have a place to post things regarding politics and religion that I find interesting yet others may find offensive.  Whether we like it or not, whether we adhere to one of the two parties, one candidate and his or her party will win, and it affects our day to day lives.  So, I think politics is an important thing to talk about. I just try to be positive and support my candidate and the causes I care about and try to stay off the low road of insulting and criticizing the other candidate.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of the candidates in this election.

http://www.danaellyn.com

 

Religion:

In my opinion, religion was made up by humans to answer big questions like, “where am I from?” “why am I here?” and “where do I go after I die?”  Different cultures think different things.  Different religions teach different versions of the story.  What do they all have in common?  LOVE  so, I’d say that LOVE is my religion!  We are all brothers and sisters of the human race, sharing this wonderful life on this beautiful planet.  I seek to find common ground with others and honor the place in others where we are the same person.
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I am agnostic.  That means I believe there might be a higher power, but I don’t know what it is.  There is no evidence to support or deny God’s existence. I was raised Christian and celebrate Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter.  My mom was a chuch organist and a devout Methodist, so as a child I was forced to attend church every Sunday for hours while she played three services. I’d attend Sunday School, a church service, then have an hour to kill during the third service. I would typically run around the church or sit in the car and listen to Casey Casem‘s top 40 countdown.  When I was in the services, I remember daydreaming and doodling.  I tried to listen. I really did.  But it was so boring, and none of it made any sense to me.  I remember sitting there doodling my imaginary married name and those of my future children and listening to an old man standing up telling me stories that didn’t apply whatsoever to my life.  I didn’t like going, but I was forced to go until I turned 18.

When I went to college, I studied Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Chinese Philosophy.  It opened up my mind to other ways of thinking.  I realized Christianity wasn’t the only religion in the world.  I liked much of what the eastern teachings said and how they respect nature and aim to go with the flow of the universe.  There is no external god in these religions.  God, or the divine nature, lives within each of us.  Heaven and Hell are experienced right here on earth.  Life is reincarnated, and each life is determined based on the karma of the past life. Spiritual enlightenment means achieving a purely spiritual state and freedom from the wheel of rebirth.  I like how the focus of eastern religions is on living life right here on Earth. It’s the only life we are sure of, and indeed we all share the same divine spark.

When my first daughter was a few years old , I started going to Unitarian Universalist Church.  People recommended that to me, and I liked the open minded philosophy.  UUs believe we are part of an interconnected web of life and that no one religion holds the cornerstone on truth.  They welcome all people including atheists, lesbian/gay/transgender people, and people of all religions and everywhere in between.  They put emphasis on the spiritual search for truth, and honor everyone’s individual path along that journey.  Emphasis is placed on being grateful for every breath and on how to live our lives in positive ways.

I stopped going to the UU church in 2008 when a good friend died in a tragic accident, and the minister didn’t have time to meet with me to help me with my grief.  It may have been the failing of one man instead of the religion, but I realized then that there is no comforting story about what happens after death.   I realized then that there really are no answers to what happens after death and that we just tell ourselves these things to make ourselves feel better.
It’s really just scienceClick here to see a video of what I mean by that.
To me, the universe is God, and the fact we have life at all on this planet is amazing and incomprehensible.   The scientific revolution occurred thousands of years after the bible was written, so it’s no surprise there is no science in the bible.  Science has gone against much of what was taken as fact in the bible such as the creation/evoultion debate and the fossil record.  The bible is a series of book written by many authors, and then only some of the books were published while others were left out.  There is scientific evidence for much of the phenomena in our lives, so that’s what I choose to believe.  The rest of it is a mystery, and I bow down in humility to the higher forces of the universe that make life possible.  I don’t know where I was before I was born, and I dont’ know where I will go after I die, but I do know that I am focused on living every day to its fullest and with love, kindness, and compassion in my heart.  Life does go on, so I surrender to the ongoing force that was in place millions of years before my life and that hopefully continues on into infinity. I don’t know what happens next, but I am certainly grateful for the life I’ve been given.

30 Days Of Truth: Day 16-Someone or Something You Definitely Can Live Without.

Cats. I am totally allergic to cats, and I can definitely live without them. I get congested, swollen, and rashy from cats. You can’t walk with them or do anything enjoyable with them. I’m not sure why people even like cats. This video also parodies their ‘I don’t care about my humans’ attitude they frequently display.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q34z5dCmC4M

30 Days of Truth: Day 10-Someone You Need to Let Go, or Wish You Didn’t Know.

Over the past several years, I’ve weeded out people from my life that I needed to let go.  I’ve let go of some toxic and fake relationships.  I’ve let go of male friendships that weren’t healthy for my marriage.  I’ve let go of family members who are impossible to deal with.

I’ve been thinking about this question for days and feel that I don’t have anyone I need to let go or wish I didn’t know.  I’m a pretty real person.  If you like me great, if not, no problem.  I don’t keep people in my life for no reason. 

The people I need to let go are the dearly departed.  I probably think too often of my friends and loved ones who have already passed away.  It makes me sad to think of each loss, and it makes me worried about when it will be my turn.  I worry about losing my husband or kids, and I worry about something happening to me.  I’m not sure where we were before we were born, and I’m not sure where we go after we die, so it’s quite a conundrum for me to think about.  This life on this Earth is the only thing I am sure of, and too often it is cut short by tragedy.  Accidents and illnesses take our loved ones away before their time.  We are left here to cherish memories and hope to be reunited with our them sometime in the future.  Spending too much time thinking about people who are gone is probably not the healthiest thing for me. I could probably stand to let go of those haunting thoughts and unpleasant memories of saying goodbye forever.

30 Days of Truth: Day 6-Something You Hope You Will Never Have to Do

I hope I never have to bury one of my kids. That may be a morbid thought, but it’s real. It would be hard enough to lose a spouse. I can’t imagine losing a child. I hope I never have to find out what it’s like.

Saying a special prayer of loving, positive thoughts for all those parents out there who have lost a child ❤

30 Days of Truth: Day 4-Someone You Need to Forgive

I need to forgive my mom. We haven’t spoken since Thanksgiving. It’s a very complicated relationship, but I have reached the point where I need to set boundaries to protect myself so I can function well in my life. Instead of taking responsibility for her own issues, she lashes out at me and blames and criticizes me. If only I would do things differently or talk to her with different words or tone of voice, she would feel better. She engulfs me in her problems and relies on me to either make it better or worse. I feel caught in a double bind. If I talk to her, I’m hurtful somehow. If I don’t talk to her, I’m hurtful. All her misery is because of what I do or don’t do. I won’t take responsibility for someone else’s happiness. It’s not my job as a daughter to make or break her sense of well being. The emotional volatility and manipulation with guilt are toxic to my life. So I don’t know what to say or do to fix it. At thanksgiving she got so upset with me that she changed her flight and left early. I need to forgive her, but so far I have been having trouble.