is death near at nautilus teachings

it started earlier this week
and today is june 11, 2017
at first i thought it was me
as my mind
tick, tick, ticked
back in time to july of 1987
on the warm summer evening
the wind caressing my skin
as i slept
fireflies lit up the sky
and i was awoken
by death,
warning me
my mother would
soon be gone…
i believe in the holy spirit
i believe in Jesus Christ
and i believe in God.
this past week i have caught
glimpses
of deaths return…
at first i thought it was shadows
since it’s been rainy and gloomy all week;
however; when i stepped from
my shower today
bam!
there it was
the fleeting darkness
alerting me
death is near…
after my mother died
she visited me for 7 years.
she would bring me messages
take me on memory rides
of the two of us
in her convertible…
every person i brought a message to
deemed me crazy,
yet,
every prediction
unfolded into truth.
i felt odd, weird
and began keeping her words
to myself…
every time someone i knew
and loved
died
that person visited me
gave me messages to pass to
their loved ones,
which i delivered
with a smile
and still i got the
‘she is fuckin crazy…’ look
what can i say to
help you understand
that i just know.
silence has become
my closest friend
because of this
and i have never tried
to tune deeper into
the voice of the Holy Spirit
after my mom left me,
yet still,
it comes…

on June 25th
my d turned pale
he began feeling ill,
off
and out of sorts…
my first thought was
‘is he sick?’
“no”
said the voice…
we spoke of death being near
and he asked me,
‘any more feelings?
is it mom?’
i shook my head
and replied,
‘i just don’t know.’
then monday
out of the blue
his long lost cousin from NYC
moved to palm bay and called him
inquiring about his mom…
two hours later
moms best friend from NYC called
asking the same question,
‘is margie ok?’
still i had no feeling of closeness
to this death
yet the shadows still startled me
at the oddest of times
so i knew
death was near…
last night d’s tummy was way off
and eating was tough
which is not like him because
one of the first things he asks me
every day is,
‘what’s for dinner?’
unsettled
exhausted
we both slept
fitfully…
today June 28th
17 days after death first appeared
the phone rang
at his office
while he was with a patient…
sobs of loss echoed
through the door
so he stood up and
opened it
to find his secretary
breaking into pieces
lying head down upon
her desk
mourning the loss
of one of her closest friends…
one hour later
my phone rings.
it’s d,
‘…….died in his sleep. i can’t believe this.
we both knew death was near…
i need you to help me in the …..’
we never know when
that knocking on the door
will be the one
which takes us home
away from our life
our loved ones
leaving pieces of us
scattered amongst the
hearts of all those we knew
and loved.
in their 55th year
of their lives
my mother
and her mother both died-
i am 55.
silence.
i
am
55.
reality.
i am 55
i’m
not
ready.
tonight
when d arrives home
we will have a normal
evening together.
tomorrow,
i will go in and work
for our friend
so she can stay home…
now is her time
to mourn
to take a look at her life
and think about
their memories
his laugh
his smile…
day by day
she
will
heal…
normalcy will return
the emptiness
will feel less
she will giggle
at a memory of him
start telling stories
of him
she will feel his presence
comforting her
holding her
and she will then
live in the knowing
one day
she will
see him again.
but for now
we all have her back
we all pray for her
and his family…
it’s what friends do
without being asked
we pick up the pieces
they cannot
until there is room
an opening of
healing
to once more
return
to
life…

Read More is death near at nautilus teachings

HIS calling at nautilus teachings

there is a window
in the darkness
of the night,
in the cracked
awakening
of morning…
inspiration rises up,
calls my name
and says,
‘now…’
it’s not a whispered now
it’s a loud booming
God is pissed
‘NOW!’
i’m not frightened
but curious.
i wipe the sleep from my eyes
grab my robe
throw my hair up
in a clip
make a steaming
rich cup of coffee
and walk barefoot
to my tiny studio…
i light a candle,
say a prayer
and sit,
waiting…
i slowly sip my morning
country roast
close my eyes
breathe in deep
and then
HE
is
there…
i know what this is about.
i have not painted
for almost 15 months.
blank canvases
are stacked and waiting…
brushes standing firmly up
ready for me to grasp them
dip them in brilliant colors
and begin…
‘i can’t do it.
i have nothing left, Lord…’
i pause
wait
breathe
sip
and then
tears…
i find all my frustration
aggravation
excitement
and anger
that has been building up
during this time
is bubbling up
and flowing
rapidly…


my hands cover
my eyes
my body is trembling
and
i
want
to
scream…
normally
these are moments
when i am given words
and images
when i am in quiet conversation
with God
computer and journal open
releasing every thought
and painting He gives me…
it may seem odd to you
and you may think
i am hallucinating
but these awakenings
have been flooding
my soul
since i was small…
i remember it as far back
as three years of age
and by 5 they were continuous…
these are the times
i choose to be alone
allowing no noise or scent
into my world
i lock myself in a room
refuse to answer
still myself at the sound
of footsteps
and wait
for my
breathing room…
but today
i am wiped out
exhausted
my tired is tired…
i finish crying like a big baby
blow my nose
and hear a slight knock
on my door.
it’s d,
this i know…
i stand
open the door
to my handsome hubby
who immediately wraps
me in a huge bear hug
and whispers,
‘bad dream, babe?’


the boys are beside us
tails beating the walls
and their bodies
doing their
‘i gotta pee mommy dance!’
i stay
in d’s warm embrace
take in his scent
and hear God say,
‘this is your one life, sheri
don’t give up…’
there
it
is…
the words He has
filled me with
my entire life,
‘don’t stop, sheri…
you are safe…
i have your back…
trust me…’
we all have black holes
we fall down
mountains that appear
too big to climb
canyons we cannot leap across
or tsunamis drowning us
from time to time…
the last 15 months
i lost myself…
with d’s surgeries
and long recoveries,
mom being up and down
and having to move her
twice,
the hurricane,
my business slowing down,
our kids moving here
the wonderful birth of our grandson…
i have been engulfed
in our life
and i lost track
of me…
thankfully
every now and then
God was giving me nudges
and i was drawing
and writing down
everything…
but on this day
BAM!
God
woke me up
and called me out…
what do we do
when we get lost
knocked off our footpath
lost without direction?
for me
i
pray.
it is always what
sustains me
keeps me buoyant,
but when we find ourselves
faced with the inability
to heal a loved one,
pulled in a million directions,
faced with decisions
we are not yet ready to make,
big changes,
loss….
we need to pause
still ourselves
kneel at the feet of God
and just know
He holds us in the palm
of His hand
He will never let us down.
we need to accept this
and live in the knowing
we are not in control…
there is a window
in the darkness
of the night,
in the cracked
awakening
of morning…
it calls your name
beckons you
to open up
your soul
and answer
the calling,
His calling
into the life
you were meant
to live…

Read More HIS calling at nautilus teachings

what do you see at nautilus teachings

when you look outside
what do you see?
do you see the weeds
that still need to be pulled
the dying flowers
which need to be plucked
the paint that is peeling
on your house
the pool that needs
to be cleaned…
how do you see
this beautiful
crazy
mixed up world?
when i walk out
my front door
the first thing i see
are my two tall christmas palms
who’s red berries
have fallen to the ground…
i love the berries
their brilliant color
against the clear blue sky.
i love how the squirrels
munch upon them
after they carry them
to my seawall
sit upon the brain coral
and fill up their bellies
without a care in the world…
i love gazing up at my
all my tall palm branches
waving at me
towering above me
as i squint
blinded by the sun
mesmerized
by their graceful beauty…
i look at our chaise
and see images of family gatherings
baby girl stretched out
with the boys and her computer
d quietly playing his ukulele
the last time mom visited…
we live on a canal
like so many of you
but i don’t see the houses
i see my giant gorgeous oak trees
Rylands baby swing
floating in the breeze
my beloved bench
all my friends from the OBX
gave me when i moved here
i see a beautiful mosaic
of vibrant colors
all surrounding me
which sometimes is
embellished with the
swift movement
of dolphins feeding
manatees floating
and fish jumping…


i know the world
is in trouble
i know my lagoon
is no longer clear
i know people are
ending friendships
over race
religion
sexual orientation
and politics…
still,
i smile
feel blessed
express gratitude
put others first
play with my dogs
walk on the beach
and try to inspire
those who know me
to be a better person,
let all the crap go and
love themselves…
what do i see
when i clear my vision?
let the noise of
the world in?
still myself
and observe?
madness.
i see
madness.
could you say i wear
rose colored glasses or
i turn a deaf ear and
refuse to see or
listen to,
learn about
or fight
for a cause?
you could,
absolutely.
but it is who i choose to be.
i refuse to left any one person
anger me
tell me what to do
think
or believe in…
i hate fighting
and arguing.
i love spoiling people
i love being alone
painting all day
crawling back into bed
after d has gone to work
with my computer
and extra large coffee
to write
with the boys asleep by my side…
i love to light my candles
and watch netflix
with the AC cranked down
before dinner
and go to bed before 10…


noise has and always will be
difficult for me to process.
it overloads my brain
making me want to run screaming
naked down the streets!
in the rare times
someone yells at me
my first response is
walk away
second
get in a car and drive away
third
punch them in the face
forth
kill them!!!!(lol)
i see this wonderful
colorful
complex world
filled with so many
endless possibilities,
it takes my breath away
in small moments
with tiny miracles
and a million reasons to smile
and even more
to be grateful for…
when you look outside
what do you see?
more importantly
when you look inside
what do you see?
sometimes i am still
that scared little girl
trying to find a safe place
to hide…
but for the most part
i let her grow up
become her own
thinking person…
i protect myself
by monitoring
every thing and person
who is allowed spaces
of my time
here on earth.
sure i still get hurt
still want to flee
still end up
inside myself
thinking
that will never happen again…
can you pull so far
within your own self
that you lose
touch with reality?
yes.
but you can also choose
to look with nonjudgmental eyes
listen with an open mind
refrain from that comeback
turn off the news
open your eyes
count your blessings
and above all
love the one you are with…
what is it you see?
for me
i choose
the calm peace
of another gifted day
giving me an opportunity
to make people smile…

Read More what do you see at nautilus teachings

fear, sanctuary and faith at nautilus teachings

we have all felt scared,
we know what fear is.
what do you do
and where do you go
to feel safe?
it is easy to hide
when we are small
darkness is definitely
your friend
especially if you are
dressed in black…
yet when you hide
what is it you are
trying to avoid
not see
or camouflage yourself from?
is it you?
the ones you love?
who and what
makes you want to
disappear?
i love to hide,
always have.
it may be my introverted self
that enjoys it so much,
the fact that i do not
have to communicate
or participate
in any one thing
i do not wish to do…
or maybe it was just bred in me,
that from birth
i needed a hard shell
to protect me
from the brainless
toe headed twits
who were supposed
to love me,
keep me safe
yet decided-
that was NOT happening-
EVER…
i know my mother put
the word out
from day one,
“sheri is not to be touched…”
by the time i was three
my memory started
and today i still wonder
what makes a 6 and 9 year old child
decide,
‘she’s fucked!
we are going to make her life hell?’


protection.
safety.
sanctuary.
hideaway.
shelter.
no matter what you
decide to label it
it
is
yours.
my mother always taught me,
“sher, no matter where you go
you are always safe in church sanctuaries..”
i remember driving many a roads
as a young adult
getting lost
snow or rain storms hitting
fleeing a volatile situation
or just feeling alone
there was always
a lit steeple
with mosaic colored windows
and inside
warmth
acceptance
forgiveness
love.
i always felt at home
inside a church
always knew someone
would listen to me
hold me
comfort me…
on a few occasions
they even held out their hands
and said,
‘with me you are safe…come…’
my mentors from age 11 on
were both pastors
one even became a father figure to me…
after spending my first 42 years
running to my faith for help
embedding God’s love
upon my soul
my mentor died
and
i
left
the
church…


i never left my faith
i left religion.
when i did this
my fears
began subsiding.
weird?
maybe, for bible thumpers
and devout christians
but for me,
no.
when i no longer felt the pressure to
flock to a weekly
scripture reading
i turned inward
letting my faith guide me.
i began listening
and speaking to God
all the time
every day,
and He spoke volumes…
i know one day
i will go back to sunday service
because
it is home…
but right now
my life is centering on
reading scripture
multiple daily devotions
yoga
meditation
and healing
every inch of me…
i am learning about
other foundations
of belief-
embracing some
and tossing the rest aside…
i know i can never recreate
the safety or church family
of my youth
and this saddens me…
i am a traditionalist…
i want a pastor in a robe
to crack open the hymnal
and sing familiar songs
i want to sit
in reverence
in a wooden pew
and spill out
everything
to God…


today
churches have rock bands
and some pastors
don’t wear robes
they have big tv screens
for your hymns
and to me
people are losing
what i deem as
an integral part
of worship-
tradition
rituals
routine…
my husband is
a devout catholic-
it’s one of the things
i love most about him,
his commitment to his faith…
once or twice a year
i go with him
but i find it utterly confusing
why they need to
drag out everything
to such lengths…
their is one father
i love listening to
his words paint pictures
in my head,
he is kind
loving
and heads up
all the kids…
he does not bore me
he entertains me
makes me smile
and i can imagine
sitting with him
and learning faith
at his knee
like i did with pastor bill
growing up…
faith is what grew me
what fills up all my moments
what comforts me.
i come from faith
was born into it
and have swung happily from
it’s long life giving vines for all my life…
fear.
do i still have it?
am i breathing?
yes.
but now
i face it
challenge it
i look it in the eye
and say,
“bring it on!”
all the while knowing
that the safest place
i can ever be
is surrounded
by my faith,
and guess what?
wherever i am
so is my faith.

Read More fear, sanctuary and faith at nautilus teachings

the girl at nautilus teachings

She is the color
in the room.
she may be
sitting alone
but the sunshine
reflects off her
long golden locks
shimmering
each time
she tosses her head
back while
thinking glorious
silly thoughts
no one can hear…
just watch her sip
her glass of wine
you can almost feel
the silky slide of it
down your own throat
leaving you
speechless…
you notice the
dangling white heart
handing from her neck
and wonder
does she feel the weight of it
or is it light as a feather?
you yearn to crawl
inside her pocket
invisibly
soaking up
her magic…
you want to know
how
does
she
do
it…
she stands
exits
and when
she returns
she is all awash
in gray tones
a monochromatic
walking
sad mess…
her mascara
is smudged
her eyes downcast
lips a blue reflection
of the grief
simmering
below the surface
of the clouded
encompassing
flashbacks
of her hidden life
the one
bound with black edges
droplets of yellow air
cleansing blue waters
and the secrets
locked within
her rapidly
beating heart…


you gaze around
wondering
what blew out
her inner light
when you notice
a glowing trail
flickering
behind
her wet footsteps…
you quietly follow
her telling stream
of truth
wanting desperately
to crouch down
dip your finger in her
cool liquid beauty
yet the soft turquoise tide
has turned
death black
thickened
and now
lazily
drip drip drips
into the pool
turning the water
scarlet red
as it curdles
into the
rounded corners
of honesty…
you’ve heard
some of her stories
of the life
she lived
and left behind
yet until this moment
you did not know
that laying amongst
her poetry
are splintered pieces
of her still beating heart…
you walk back inside
and she is once more
filling the tiny space
with a multitude of
brilliant hues.
her smile has returned,
her gaze is fixed
looking out
toward
tiny lizards
playing on the front porch
and a russet squirrel
munching on
red nuts
fallen from her christmas palm…


you join the rest of the group
who are munching,
sipping, mingling,
chatting and laughing
noticing
the sound level has risen
as the girl
who is afraid
to be her true self
folds her long body
into a corner
as a apple green vine
with luscious purple grapes
begins to wrap around
her from toe to head
soon all you see is
her huge brown eyes,
small lips
and long fingers
still holding her
half filled wine glass…
you blink
refocus
and realize
she is just standing
next to the tall
leafy plants
gazing at a painting on the wall
and the vision you saw
was an illusion
she cast upon you
in hopes
you would walk over
sit with her
and truly listen
to her broken heart
honest words
and at least pretend to care…
she was the color
in any room
always sparkling
creating smiles
upon the lips
of those who
noticed…
yet most days
people saw her
as a watercolor
barely visible
to the human eye
so they ignored her.
no one stopped
to ask how she was
what she was up to
or even what she was thinking
they just zoomed by her
as if she was a discarded
piece of paper
being tossed by the wind…
time flew by
life took over
you were flooded
with family and work
responsibilities
sitting at a stop light
your mind racing
1,000 miles a minute
when you see her
sitting in the car next to you
you want to wave
but her eyes
are focused
forward
her lips
barely moving,
to a phone conversation?
song?
in prayer?
you smile
and think
the next time i see her
i am going to
approach her
and get to know this
odd
colorful
beauty…
the light
turns green
you both take a left
and as you do
a truck refusing to yield
smashes in to the girls car
as your head spins
back in horror
you drive off
so you are not late
instead of pulling over
turning around
and letting her know
she has a friend
who cares
who is there for her
who understands
her pain…
she is the color
in the room
when you see her,
if you see her,
take the time
to have a conversation
and let her know
she
is
not
alone…

Read More the girl at nautilus teachings

looking in windows at nautilus teachings

i remember being on the outside
always looking in…
it started when i was young
making sure i knew
where my bonehead brothers
were at all times…
this was a matter of protecting myself
because they decided together
i was to be their target
as much as humanly possible…
then when i went to school
i was painfully shy
stuttered
and refused to talk to anyone
plus i was left handed
and in the 60’s they tried
to force me to be right handed
which totally screwed me up
for life…
this whole world is made up
of everything for righties,
needless to say i did
get to be quite ambidextrous
in almost everything
but my predominate
and strongest side
is actually right and not left…
i eat, paint, draw write
only left handed…
i think my brain
got so many mixed up signals
growing up in a right handed world
that it easily explains why
if you ask me to balance
or stand on one foot
most likely i will topple over,
riding a bike became a challenge
when i tried to pick it up after
years of no bicycling at all,
hence, i run into the most random
out of the way things
and fight to keep myself
from wobbling.
as a child i was awesome at it,
able to ride no handed, even
but my aging body rebelled
and decided no more two wheelers,
no more hand stitching quilts
because my left fingers
decided they could no longer
hold a needle,
and forget me keeping a beat
while dancing,
just ask d, it will make you giggle…


give me a puzzle
ask me to fit a square peg in a round hole
put together any toy with a million pieces
how to hook up, maintain and upgrade
all electronics,
heck i even fixed our dishwasher
with the help of YouTube…
i think outside the box,
because i learned very young
i never wanted to be held
inside
anything,
EVER!
hence,
there is no box…
the obedient,
goody two-shoes,
tattling
little girl
could not ever
make up her own mind…
sure, deep inside i had dreams
i spent every day hiding,
drawing, creating a world
i felt safe in…
one where there were no words
only color, smiles, and safety…
i grew to love being on the outside
of everything,
hiding under tables at parties
to hear conversations
sitting in the shadows
with someones dog
observing how people
interacted
but i also loved hosting
any gathering
because i was kept busy
cooking, cleaning up,
getting drinks…
i did not have to
engage in conversations
only small talk
and i was good at
hugging, cheek kissing and smiles!
i have taken all the tests
and i am right brain dominant
which comes as no surprise…


i am not analytical,
i remember colors, clothing,
and smells
but no other details
in most memory…
i am common sense all the way
instead of logic,
i love trying to find my own ways
to complete most challenges…
i am non-linear, which means
‘that it does not progress or develop smoothly from one stage to the next in a logical way. Instead, it makes sudden changes, or seems to develop in different directions at the same time…’
i have never ever been predictable-
EVER!
i trust my intuition,
i easily mulit-task
100% creative,
i truly believe we are
all connected
and 9 times out of10
i am correct about an outcome
of any given situation-
i can see the big picture
with ease
love color and laughing…
i rarely if ever
verbally share how i feel
or what i think,
the introvert in me
keeps all my thoughts
safely in journals….
what are you?
do you even care?
for me,
knowing i am right brained
which explains my feeling
i am on the outside looking in,
it comforts me
letting me know
i am not weird
strange
dumb
stupid
as i have been called
by almost every man
i have loved…
being an observer
in this crazy world
helps me process things slowly…
i don’t watch the news
or listen to gossip
i am not political
and don’t pick sides…
have you ever been in a car
driving down the road
and you see a child
face pressed to the window
gazing out
even staring at you?
that is
and always has been,
me!
i embrace
being the outsider
in the many circles
of this world
i don’t want to belong
or need to fit in…
so if you ever see me
sitting quietly
anywhere
know
my mind is
creating 1,000 miles a minute
writing new stories
drawing new ideas
to paint
thinking about
what to cook for dinner
or that i get to go see Ryland soon…
i am never where you are
i have never been caught up
in the moment
or felt a need to sit
and gab for hours…
for most of my life
i felt shame for this
unwanted
different…
but now i
look in the mirror
smile
and embrace
all of my weirdness!

Read More looking in windows at nautilus teachings

fathers day at nautilus teachings

wellllll,
here it is,
fathers day
AGAIN!
geez
why do we have to
celebrate them
every year?
for most of you
it’s a time of smiles
grilling out
and being loved
by the man
you get to call
dad, pop, father, papa, daddy…
and then
there are those of us
who would like
to choose it as
a skip day,
the black sunday
of our year…
then i breathe in
heave a huge sigh
close my eyes
glance out the window
tap the keyboard
take a second deeper breath
and think
this year
i too
will celebrate fathers
everywhere,
accept the one
who lives in…
and the one
who was…
and how about
the crazy one who…
or the selfish one who…
oh, and let’s not
forget the ones in…
not to mention
the loud talking
hand swinging
self esteem breaking
bastards who…
ok ok ok.
yes,
probably the same
can be said about
a ton of moms out there too
and i know there are many of you
who feel this way
about her
and choose to
X out that day on
your own calendar…
so what does this tell me?
fake it until you make it…


it has taken me
my entire life
to accept the fact
that my father
could not ever be
who i needed him to be
and that he never will…
so it is time for me
to just ‘grow the fuck up’
as d would say
and accept my dad
as the man my mother loved
who provided for us
the best he could
in every way.
back in the 50’s and 60’s
people rarely divorced
most of the bad stuff
was swept under the table
there was no self help guru
mediation
or yoga studio
on every corner
google as well as the internet
was nonexistent
if you were not home
you missed phone calls
tv was channel 2, 5, 7, 9 and 11
kids entertained themselves
outside,
family dinners were every sunday
bedtime was at dark
walking was the norm
and God forbid you actually
talked about your feelings
and the other person listened…
but this sunday is about
dads everywhere
no matter what
type of father they were
or are today…
i have three kids
from two different men…
will they talk to their bio dads?
only one of them.
will they send cards to them?
none of them…
what they will do is call up
my d
who entered their lives
only 12 years ago
they will wrap him in hugs
wish him happy fathers day
and mean it
because d has their back
and they know this…
he listens
guides
and loves them,
unconditionally…


this for me is what a father does
and unfortunately
mine could never
and will never do be able to do this…
yes,
this is Fathers Day weekend
yes,
this is a time to celebrate
your fathers, grandfathers, uncles,
brothers, mentors…
any man who has had a positive
impact upon your life…
but what do the rest of us do?
do we mail cards?
call them up?
pretend?
continue to fake it?
genetically i am connected
to my dad
and my brothers
we have a chronological history
of events which authenticates
the actual truth
we,
as 4 siblings agree
our dad was cold,
disconnected
and unable to communicate
in any way
with us.
it’s who he is
and will always be…
our mother encouraged us
to love the ‘broken’
making sure we understood
our dad was one of them
and he needed love too…
so i will send him a card,
write him a nice note
give him a call
tell him i love him…
i will once more block out
the fact he was absent as a father,
i will forget that he could not meet
my emotional needs as his daughter,
silencing the forever echoed words,
‘when are you going to get a real job’
‘what is wrong with your kids,
they never call me…’
i will clip from memory
the times i was witness to him
verbally bashing my mom
making her feel small…
instead i will pay homage to
our mother
who saw him as her
knight in shining armor
who held her hand
made her laugh
and gave me
to her.
without him
i
would
not
be…
so happy fathers day,
dad
may God open your eyes
allowing you to see
not 1 or 2 or 3,
but 4 children
who desperately
just need you
to hug them close
tell them you love them,
are proud of them
and maybe
even
ask forgiveness…
we have all forgiven you,
regardless, dad
but sometimes
a few words
can heal
a deep cavern
just by being spoken…

Read More fathers day at nautilus teachings

not wonder woman at nautilus teachings

first light peaked
through the cracks
of her long curtains
slid together in sections…
she never found the time
to hand stitch the pieces together
they were supposed to black out
this annoying whiteness
but her lack of motivation
to complete this particular task
reminded her daily
you forgot to finish this!
one of her dogs was
happily munching away
at his foot,
the other dead asleep
with his legs in the air…
‘ugh’ she thought,
‘i forgot to put his cone on last night…’
she called them both
let them out to pee
and began her day,
making note in her head
to check finns paw for blood
before she left for work…
20 minutes later her hubby
walked into the kitchen,
‘how’s finn? did he bleed?’
‘ugh’, she thought,
‘i forgot, i will check it after he poops!’
she makes her coffee
lights her prayer candle
grabs her breakfast bar
lets the boys in
sits down and begins
reading the days scripture.
30 minutes later
her hubby pops in,
‘i’ll see you at the studio.
how’s finn?’
she gives him that look
as he responds,
‘you forgot! slow down,
take a breath, love…’
he leaves
she goes back to
daily devotions
gets dressed
makes the bed
grabs her lunch
puts the cones on the boys
starts their music
drives to work
parks the car
and then,
‘crap! i forgot to check finns paw…’


she rolls her eyes
grabs her bags
and walks inside
anxious to start her day!
an hour before 20 kids arrive
her hubby pops his head in
her doorway,
‘don’t forget father steve is coming for dinner.
what are you making?’
‘FUCK! i forgot…’
he smiles and says,
‘whatever you fix, he will love it…’
he leaves
she goes back prepping for the day,
kids arrive
2 hours pass
they all eat lunch
when,
of course
he pops in again,
‘decide what we are eating, yet?’
she smiles,
nods
and replies,
‘yup! food!’
they both laugh
he leaves
she goes back teaching
the kids finish up
go home
she resets the studio
and 90 minutes later
looks at her gym bag
lying under her desk.
she heaves a huge sigh
makes a short grocery list
does the shopping
arrives home
and notices
her three piles of laundry
she has yet to do
besides cook dinner
take a shower
and put on her
welcome home face
all within 3hours…
‘no worries,’ she thinks to herself.
she pulls chili from the freezer
defrosts it
sticks it in a pan to heat slowly
grabs a big can of beans
mixes in her secret ingredients
tops it with bacon
and throws it in the oven…


next she mixes her
hamburger mix
patties them out
cuts tomato, onion, lettuce
makes three salads
changes the laundry
sets the table
throws the salads, burgers etc
into the fridge for now
slices up some fruit to top off
the gelato she bought for dessert
changes the laundry
starts the dishwasher
wipes down the counters
grabs a quick shower,
catches up on the mail
and then notices
the dogs are staring at her!
‘ah! i forgot to order their food,
check finns paw and
i know they need to pee…’
her phone rings
to set up the tv delivery
for tomorrow
then the phone buzzes
for tomorrows water delivery…
she grabs the empty 5 gallon bottles
orders the boys food and treats
checks finns paw,
‘not bad at all’
sprays it with his anti-itch medicine
puts her computer away
and when she returns
the boys are asleep
in their beds
tired of waiting to go out…
the clock says 5:20
she has 40 minutes
to finish up her list
finish the laundry
make sure the boys go out
before she
lights the candles
throws the dogs and burgers
on the grill
uncorks the wine
and gets dressed…
‘crap’ she thinks,
‘i forgot to make the
salad dressing
and run the dishwasher…’
she starts it up and
remembers the dressing bottle
on the top rack, dirty…
‘oh, well, looks like
bottled dressing tonight’, she thinks.
she glances at her
workout bag
now sitting on the counter
and thinks,
‘not today nike! we will try again tomorrow…’
this is what we do
as mothers, wives and women
we make lists
we go about our day
like a crazy woman
trying to squeeze it all in
and when we finally hit the bed
exhausted
what we need to remind ourselves is this,
‘we are not wonder woman,
and that,
my friend
is
A.O.K!’

Read More not wonder woman at nautilus teachings

the importance of memories at nautilus teachings

the last two nights
for a few hours,
our grandson
was here
with us
alone…
it’s a beautiful thing
being a grandparent
and it’s been a long time
for us,
since our first
grandson
is now 11…
d and i spent a few minutes
going back over old photos
of our first grandson
right after
Ryland left…
that led to old
family photos of
numerous happy times
with us saying things like
‘look how young we were…’
‘look at all my hair…’
‘omg, do you remember that?’
nostalgia warms us.
it’s as if for small
unexpected moments
God cracks open
the gates to heaven
and lets the
warm, healing balm
of memory
flood our entirety
with colors, scents and feelings
of times we never thought
would end…
most of us have favorite
photographs on our desks
hanging on our walls
and nowadays
stored on our phone
peering at us
when we dare
pause our lives
glance toward them
and remember…
my favorite photo
of my mom
is in her silver ‘bomb’
convertible with red leather interior..


but you cannot see the colors
as the photo is from the 60’s
and resembles an ansel adams
bleak photograph
with bare tree limbs
for the background
and mom
with her long sleeves
and sunglasses on…
ragtops
were her happy place
her escape from life
and her favorite
form of travel…
i remember so many
road trips with her,
top down
wind in our hair,
music crooning…
this is my memory
of her
i hold most close.
there are a million
tiny other ones
but this one
is top
because
while we rode
she talked
laughed
cried
and told me
everything she was
thinking about
her dreams
and passion
while i just sat there
soaking it all in
wondering to myself
if i could ever be
as beautiful
kind and loving
and her…
life passes by quickly
my favorite memory
with my 31 year old son
are of football.
i loved watching him play
listening to him talk about it
i can still see him in his
jersey…


but now it’s him
holding his son…
my middle daughter
who is 27 this year
i always see her soft freckles
long hair
that she always wanted
‘mommy can you french braid my hair…’
and remember her always
wearing dresses and fancy shoes,
even when all her friends
were in shorts and t-shirts!
the baby, who is 24 this year…
blanket and toes!
she loved for me to hold
her toes and rub her feet
til she was almost 11…
and even today
she has a blanket you cannot
touch or wash because
in her words,
‘i know its disgusting, but
it holds all my tears,
my funny stories
my life, mom…you cannot wash it~’
what do you cling to?
what are you afraid to let go of?
is there anything you
are looking forward to?
i sit and stare
at Ry
when he is asleep
in his tiny chair
that vibrates…
i memorize his long
fingers,
his blue eyes
and sweet smile…
sometimes when he is asleep
he wakes up
looks at me
and we both smile
before he nods back off…
i think to myself,
‘he’s checking to make sure
ole’ granny is still there!’
i don’t know what or if
my children have a favorite
memory of me yet
or for that matter
if d does…


what legacy do you wish
to leave behind?
i have spent the past year
sharing with my kids
my life story.
i wanted them to know
where i came from
what made me who i was
why i divorced twice
and most important
how i found out who
sheri was at the age
of 50
and the journey
which brought me to
full acceptance and forgiveness..
we don’t know
when God is going to call us home
and most of us take advantage
the miracle that we
get to wake up every day
and say i’m sorry,
apply for that job we so want,
paint that wall,
fix the car,
play with the kids
or love our spouse…
take a deep breath in
and exhale,
then begin this moment
appreciating your
one beautiful life.
i will do anything for our kids
and grandchildren
including change my life
if need be
because this is my now
my happy place…
and my favorite memory
with our 11 year old
grandson Tanner?
riding in my 350Z
silver convertible
when he was almost 5.
he looked over at me
smiled and said,
‘granny, play our song!’
so i hit taylor swift
picked her song, “mean”
cranked up the volume
hit the gas
took his hand
and together
we drove to publix
singing at the top
of our lungs,
and laughing…
today is a good day
to make a memory,
i dare you…

Read More the importance of memories at nautilus teachings

i am not her at nautilus teachings

you see her smiling face
every time you sign on to fb,
you hear her laugh across the room
she’s plays golf, tennis,
has a lavish home
a loving husband
successful grown children
and everyone loves her…
he has a gorgeous wife
whom he adores
5 small children
who are the center of
his world
their home is simply
the latest of everything
they are active in their church
volunteer on the weekends
and just like the woman above,
everyone loves this family…
these are a few of the people
who swear
they have never had
any darkness,
sadness or loss
in their lives…
they come from
fabulous families
from all walks of life…
the key
the center
of all
appears to be
unconditional love
listening ears
no anger
accountability
acceptance
encouragement
and faith…
it does not mean they
don’t drink or
smoke a little mj
nor does it mean
they were the star
athletes or students…
of course they made mistakes
got speeding tickets
had their heart broken
and even told some people off…
i don’t know if they were taught
to let it all slide off of them,
but they were taught
forgiveness
compassion
empathy…


when their first pet died
they were told
‘cry it out, dearheart, i know it hurts…’
then a small family ceremony
was held in the backyard
to bury the beloved
cat, dog, fish, guinnea pig…
when they did something to hurt another
they weren’t made to feel
dumb, small or called stupid or idiot
they were taught to apologize
and hug it out
till they ended up giggling
on the floor…
they were from loving families
who understood
home is your safe haven
no
matter
what….
for most of us
this did not
and will never exist
because we are
beautifully
damaged
imperfect
flawed
scarred
human beings…
and sometimes
life sucks!
as we age
we develop a sense
of resting
pausing
a breaking off
and release of
barnacles
we have carried
for decades…
it happens at different
ages for every
person
and unfortunately
for some,
never….
for me
it happened mid age,
42…
i was barely able to exist
without my xanax in my pocket
to rescue me
in case i was engulfed with
a panic attack…
i never did drugs
but i always had
a cocktail while cooking
and a drink before bed
i saw this as my natural sedative…


i had no idea how to
deal with a life
i was first born into
and then continued
to sustain
through bad choices…
the only three good things i did
was have my children
they were then
and always will be
my center
my heart…
during their growing up years
i tried to guide them
raise them in faith
be a good mom,
and for the most part
during the time they
were awake
i was a great mom…
but when the sun would
start to set
i knew
the demons
were lying in wait
in our home
to expose themselves
to the darkness
which they fed off of…
i write about parents
being the memory keepers
of their children
and i know for a fact
my kids
have some pretty
hurtful, ugly, loud, damaging
stuff on their reel
of life…
my biggest worry
is always
can they heal
forgive
and love fully
choosing a better life
than the one
they were raised in…
we can go back
and rip off the bandages
but doing so
can open up
boxes of shame,
humiliation
embarrassment
so we tend to push them
further back
into the deep fathoms of
our soul
hoping they never
surface again…
until that day
it hits you…


you have to let this stuff go
begin to mend
not just our selves
but relationships
by forgiving
and releasing
and beginning anew
with the acceptance
we may have
pieces of a horrible past
but we are not
that person
any more…
this is what happened to me.
you can call it an
awakening
rebirth
assent
recognition
your aha moment…
all i know is you
feel clean inside
you find happiness
and ultimately joy…
i will never be that perfect
smiling all the time face
you see on fb
i love the f word too much!
i don’t do politics, religion, sexual orientation
or any other opinionated topics…
i value my families privacy
and desire only to
expose the calling of my soul
to people…
to inspire
spread kindness
not judge
teach
make laugh
lighten your load
love
faith
and let you all know
it’s always ok
to not be ok
you are always enough
and fuck everyone
who gets in your face
and tells you otherwise…

Read More i am not her at nautilus teachings