can things get worse? at nautilus teachings

there is a well known phrase,
“what would Jesus do…”
for sher she knew,
Jesus would forgive
if we asked.
the next morning
the call came early.
he was in tears,
“please, i am so sorry.
i was drunk and stoned.
i will go to rehab again.
please drop the charges…”
sher obeyed.
it’s what she witnessed
her mother do
for her father
it’s what she was taught
as a daughter
and as a wife,
she was dutiful…
she made the call
went and signed the papers
releasing him.
he went to the boat
she went home.
she met with her sister in law
over lunch.
it seemed she thought sher knew
before she married her brother
about his “addictions”
she came to sheri’s house
to visit the kids
then went to the boat
where her brother lived
as a woman…
the following day
she flew home,
while sher’s second husband
launched the sailboat
never to return.
she found a good attorney
filed for divorce
rented a van
and took the kids back to OBX
for thanksgiving.
while they were in the car
she told them,
‘i filed for divorce.
your dad has been served.’
the van erupted in cheers.
“yeah mom. it’s about time!!!”
for the first time in a long time
she felt at peace.
this was the right decision.
whatever was going to happen
she would handle
with faith as her guide…


upon returning home
she busied herself
with cleaning out the house
putting it on the market
making plans to fly back home
and look for a new house
for her and the kids…
the day came
when she had to say to her son,
“you have to move out.
my house…”
it was hard for her
because she loved him so much
but that is why they call it tough love.
he settled in an apartment
with a friend
worked at a local restaurant
and agreed to only come see her
when he was not drinking or smoking,
hence the visits were few
on holiday, birthdays and mothers day
and always first thing in the morning.
she was fine with that.
her oldest daughter was having
a hard time because she was the closest
to their father.
unbeknownst
to sher, her daughter was lost and sad
but on the outside appeared happy
the baby, who was now 12,
sher let attach to her bf’s family.
sher knew she was loved
and safe there…
what she did not know was
how much damage she was doing
to the bond she shared with them all.
dismantling 15 years of life,
regardless if it was happy or not
is work.
selling off the runabout boat
was a piece of cake
she had power of attorney
and he was no where to be found
as of yet.
all she knew was
he was somewhere in key west
because that is where all the
charges were…
she called the key west police
to see if he had been arrested.
when they responded with a
“nope”
she got a name of a local
bounty hunter…
she hired him to find her ‘husband’
and the 38 foot catamaran sailboat
that was to be their dream boat.
less than 48 hours later
a call came in,
“hi, this is….
i have found your boat
and your husband…”


two days later
the key west police
along with her hired
bounty hunter
arrived on deck
knocked on the glass doors
and waited…
he appeared half naked
his face was smeared with
dry peanut butter
crack whore by his side
‘can i help you officer?’
“yes. we have a warrant to seize
this boat and sail it back to
florida…
we will wait out here
while you pack up and
clean out your personal belongings…”
the police officer did not see it coming
BAM!
a fist came across his face so fast
followed with the words
begin screamed,
“this is MY BOAT and you will not
take it from me, now get out of here…”
he was handcuffed
arrested
and as he was being hauled off
he yelled to his crack whore
“take all my stuff for me, will you?”
sher’s hired bounty hunter
boarded the vessel
shot a video of the mess
and took photos…
the call came late at night,
“sheri, this is the key west police department
i am afraid we are confiscating your vessel
due to the fact that there is a meth lab aboard.
the boat is only in your name,
so we suggest you get a good attorney…”
WTF?
seriously?
no way was she going to pay for this
no fucking way…

Read More can things get worse? at nautilus teachings

the final straw at nautilus teachings

temptation surrounds us,
food, alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling…
we also are exposed to gyms, churches, farmers markets,
the beach, parks, people on bicycles, skateboards…
we consciously have choices
good over evil
kindness over cruelty
love over hate
peace over war…
for sher,
she chose obedience
to her parents
to her faith
to her silence.
she vowed no one would ever know
the shame she felt
how ugly, dirty and worthless…
she kept her voice hidden
as much as possible
knowing whatever she was thinking
was best kept to herself…
as a child this worked out ok
as a teenager, she added giggles
and expressions with her face and hands
but by high school speech class
forced her to find a tiny voice.
mostly she wrote
and at writing she excelled.
in grade school she had to take speech classes
because she stuttered.
they never really worked
but she did learn some tricks
like what letters to avoid starting sentences with
and how to breath.
during her first marriage
she did not use her voice.
it was all she could do to deal
with her mother dying.
but she sang all the time to her son
and talked to him all the time
because with nicholas she was free.
in her second marriage
she would get verbally assaulted
for even speaking her own thoughts
she kept long thick journals
of words, photos and drawings
her soul lived in a silent,
bound, paper world.
the night he has his episode
the one where he broke down
and called the police on himself
he threatened to burn it all,
he even held them up high
with a lit light underneath
snickering at her,
“go ahead, call your daddy, sheri…
he cannot save you
just like you cannot save yourself
or my children…”


over the few months they lived
in florida
while he was gone
she began to paint
like a crazy woman
stay up all night writing her stories
and then BAM
he enters her life again
and this time
holding a bag of weed
right out of rehab….
really?
did he really think she would crack?
fuck no!
she stood very straight
grabbed her $150
8 quart all-clad
spaghetti cooker
and screamed
‘get out of this house
and never come back…’
he was so high
he just laughed at her.
as he turned to leave
she pulled the cooker back
over her head and threw it
straight at his head
she missed him
denting the stainless steel
refrigerator she just bought…
he hopped in his truck
drove off
and sher
crumbled to the ground
shaking
pounding her fists
against the wall
and screaming
‘i fucking hate him
i hate my life
Lord, please show me the way…”
the summer breezed by
the kids were excited about school
the house was coming along
the pool was just about complete
and he
mr. smoke weed every day
was
still
gone.
she was paying his enormous
credit card bills
waiting for the call
informing her the boat
had arrived from paris
and interviewing divorce lawyers.
august hit with blazing heat
she was looking into getting
re-certified to teach school
researching cross-dressing
talking to her cousin
about helping her find a house and job
back home in Illinois
and getting her home finished up
to put back on the market.
one Tuesday morning the phone rang,


“sheri, this is… your boat is….
when would you like to pick it up?”
she thought for only a moment,
‘i would like to sell it..’
“i’m sorry. we have already talked to your husband
and he told us he would pick it up.
we just need the date…”
‘oh, well, i will have to get back with you…’
sure enough
two days later
in he pulls
grabs nicholas
and the two of them fly up to annapolis
to sail her home.
she was stuck,
AGAIN!
dammit!
the whole process took about a week,
the boys sailed her into port
down south off of Eau Gallie
on a bright sunny day.
the girls were so excited.
sheri was even excited.
“you see. we can rent the house
and take the kids
and sail around the world
just like we planned…”
she knew right then and there
she would never be locked up on a boat
with him-ever…
he moved aboard the boat
lived as a woman
and refused to talk to her.
one day while the kids were in school
she drove over to see him.
again, he asked her to get high
she saw all his bras, fake boobs, toys,
opened the side portal and began
tossing things out
screaming,
‘what is a matter with you?
this is disgusting…
why are you doing this?’
then he proceeded to hit her over
and over
she tried to protect her face
so he beat her chest…
she finally broke free
ran up to the top and called 911
the police came and arrested him
took pictures of her
and when she got home
this message was waiting…
“this is your sister in law…
you get my brother out of jail
or i will finish what he started.
this is all your fault,
you lying piece of shit,
i am coming down there tomorrow
and he better be out of jail…”
sher erased the message
took a shower
and cried herself to sleep…

Read More the final straw at nautilus teachings

reality hits at nautilus teachings

what happens when you
do not accept reality
when you see the world
through rose colored glasses
when you wear your heart
upon your sleeve
when you refuse to grow up?
you spend the morning
and small pieces of the next
6 months taking parenting classes
meeting with DCFS
changing all the locks
paying all his credit card bills
lying to people you love
about his whereabouts
entertaining scheduled friends
who flew to visit
when finally your besties show up
and you break wide open
revealing the whole shitty truth
about the last 15 years…
their eyes wide open
their lips silently gasping
and when you are finished
you hug
they leave
and
you
are
alone…
this was sher’s reality.
only this time
she rose up
rooted in her faith.
faith had always sustained her
always seen her through
never let her down…
little by little
one day at a time
she began baby stepping
into the unknown
down the path towards finding out
who sher was…
she called to cancel the boat…
“i’m sorry, you cannot cancel this, but we can
put it up for sale as soon as it arrives.
another option is to put it in the rental program
in tortola, bvi”
she breathed in a heavy sigh
“yes, put her up for sale then…”
as she hung up
his hand grabbed her
spun her around
and the venom of his words
mixed with the twisting
of her wrist pierced her heart…
“YOU WILL NOT CANCEL MY BOAT.
IT’S MY BOAT. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?
I WILL PICK IT UP AND I WILL SAIL IT…”
then he packed his truck
drove away
and did not come back
for 3 months.
she was outside weeding
when a blue pick up truck
pulled up.
the girls were outside playing
when she heard,
“hey girls…daddy’s home…”
they both ran up
and hugged him-
big smiles upon their faces.
‘mommy, daddy is home…’
shit.
another huge sigh.


she had just finally started sleeping
through the night again.
she did not acknowledge him.
she knew where he was-
KEY WEST
she knew what he was doing-
SPENDING UP NEAR 25,000 A MONTH
she did not care
she hated him…
she finished up outside
went inside to start dinner
and grab a shower.
he was waiting upon the sofa
when she entered.
“SHERI…sit down.”
‘no. why are you here?’
“this is MY house. MY family.
you are all MINE…”
she froze for only a second
turned
walked into the kitchen
poured a glass of wine
took a very long sip
breathed in calm
and prayed,
‘oh, Lord, give me strength…’
he left her alone the rest of the evening.
she put the kids to bed
then took her book to bed.
she was just starting to doze off
when he came in…
‘you cannot sleep in here.
use the guest bedroom,’ sher said.
he started to cry
“i am going to rehab tomorrow.
i need $25,000 transferred to
the facility. i almost died three times.
i need help…”
‘oh, shit’, she thought
not again.
the nearly three months he was gone
was heaven.
she began cleaning up and moving out
all of his belongings into his trailer.
she would take back her life.
it was the end of may, almost her birthday.
she had made spaghetti for the kids
the four of them sat at the table
laughing, sharing and eating
when their was a knock
on the door…
she rose up
opened the door and
there he was screaming
“DADDY’S HOME!”
the kids froze
sher turned
walked back to the table
and the four of them continued on
like he was not even there.
‘what was he doing here?’ she thought
‘he’s not due home for 2 more weeks…’
he grabbed a plate and a chair
sat at the table
smiled
and said,
“it’s almost mommy’s birthday,
so they let me come home early.
i rented us a house on sanibel
for four days…and i made you each
a gift while i was gone…”
he passed out plastic wooden crosses
he strung on plastic string.
no one said a word
except nicholas…
‘what is wrong with you?
you can’t just come in here
and tell us what to do.
why don’t you leave us alone?
i am not going with you…’
nicholas rose up
and went to his room.
the girls sat there speechless.
he looked at sher and said,
“you WILL go.
you WILL have fun.
do you hear me?”
all three nodded quietly.
the girls began to cry
so sher took them both to their rooms
hugging them the whole way.
when she got them settled
she returned to the kitchen to clean up.
he was sitting their
with a stupid grin…
“come here baby. i missed you.”
barf
gag me
did he really think she wanted him?
she paused
glanced at him
was about to speak,
when he continued,
“look what i scored
at the airport!
wanna play?”

Read More reality hits at nautilus teachings

CBPD/DCFS/REALITY at nautilus teachings

when a tsunami hits you
full on
as her second husbands
revealing of his truth did
sher could have bailed
but she stayed
they went to individual
and couples counseling
he got clean and sober
and in the spring of 2004
they piled the kids in the suburban
drove to Annapolis boat show
and finally ordered their dream boat
a customized 38’ catamaran sailboat
able to sail them around the world
as one big happy family.
he asked her to marry him again.
they renewed their vows.
they traveled to cocoa beach
and bought a house
life was good.
he appeared better.
and for the first time in years
sher felt love.
in the fall of 2004
after their closing on their new home
he packed up his truck
and his trailer and began moving the family
to their new home…
he would live there,
renovating the house
and travel home once a month
to get more of their belongings
she would stay,
sell the house and pack up their life
with their final journey
together as a family
to be january of 2005…
it was a busy time
everyone was sad about the move
but also excited about the new journey
sailing their boat together for three years
around the world was the plan
they would leave in the fall of 2005…
in november of 2004 they all loaded in the truck
and drove to florida.
when they pulled up in their new driveway
the kids ran outside,
it was warm
and their oohs and ahhh’s told sher
this house would be their new start…
when the garage door opened up
she noticed water
everywhere
all the boxes of their memories
was damp and wet
the kids were the first to speak,
“dad…what happened to all my stuff?”
he looked bewildered
‘i don’t know. this is strange…’
as he started moving boxes to the
driveway
she and the kids went inside
she was so excited to see all the newly
painted walls in the colors she picked out,
to see the pool under construction
all the beauty of the new…
the kids ran ahead of her each claiming a room
but sher stopped
and gasped at the hole
in the wall,
the mess on the floor
the smell…
she opened the door a bit
but it was too warm
she put the AC down to 70
fell to the floor and cried
in a dark corner…


she could hear the kids
so excited
spreading out their sleeping bags
unpacking a few things
laughing…
“hey mom, can we order pizza?
we are starved!”
“yes! order pizza,” said sher
as she rounded the corner…
‘mom,’ nicholas said, ‘why are you crying?’
“oh, you know your ole mom, i am crying happy tears…”
nicholas knew she was lying
but he did not let on.
‘i got this mom…you go help dad…”
he was such a good son.
he had no idea how much he saved her
time and time again.
sher walked to the garage
where he was steadily unpacking boxes
“what is going on? nothing is done. it’s a mess in there,
and all of our stuff is wet… i don’t understand…”
he just looked at her
with his big sad brown eyes
and in an instant she knew
he was using again…
this was his last chance
their last attempt at saving
the family
now what?
the weekend there
was quiet
he drove them home in silence
unpacked them
and left.
they all moved in january.
10 days after their move
late at night he arrived home
the girls were in the back room
having a sleep over with their new friends
her son was out with his new friends
he sat upon the sofa
looked at her with a lopsided grin
and said,
“you know, if you would just smoke a little pot
everything would be just fine…”
sher looked at him
then yelled ,
“get the fuck out of my house…”
he did not leave.
he locked himself in the bathroom
on the other side
and began using.
she called the police
while all the kids slept peacefully.
“yes, this is… my husband has locked himself….
he is using…..i want you to come arrest him…”
‘i’m sorry but we cannot do that.
you need to take your children and leave.’
are they crazy?
me, leave with three kids in tow?
what is wrong with them?
she slept fitfully all night long
rose with the sun
got the kids
off to school
and when she returned home
cocoa beach police
and DSFS was waiting on her front porch
while he was asleep on the bathroom floor…

Read More CBPD/DCFS/REALITY at nautilus teachings

is enough, enough? at nautilus teachings

how do you know
when enough is enough ?
when to walk away?
what is your breaking point?
sher
continued in her miserable life
for almost 15 years for many reasons:
she felt worthless
she had no voice
she was weak
she did not want to be divorced
AGAIN!
she stayed for the kids
she stayed because
she had no idea who
she was or what she wanted…
after her second daughter was born
her second husband
won the lottery
just a few million
but enough for them to both
quit their jobs
and move south.
they bought a house on the sound
in the OBX
she painted the inside of their house
the colors of the sunset
so every night her house would glow
she spent days putting beautiful mosaic floors
painting bar stools
getting the girls and Nicholas settled,
all the while
he sunk into a deep depression…
she opened a book store
in memory of her mom
who loved reading
and taught sher
how wonderful it was to escape…
she was still writing
and painting on canvas
but nothing seemed to work
it all was forced
the real images
her truth
was bottled up inside her
refusing to come out…
he was high or drunk
most of the time
many days he left early
and fished til dark
she thought this move
would be like their honeymoon again
with no pressure to work
they could just do what made them happy
obviously their choices were opposite…
within 1 1/2 years after a long day of
his over indulging in too many drugs
he had a psychotic break
he called the police
on himself,
landing him in a mental institution
and of course sher was blamed…
“what is wrong with you?
this is all your fault…
get him out of there right now…”
what had happend?
why had he turned to drugs?
gone off the deep end?
she knew their marriage was
not the best
she also knew he had been struggling
with something
since she met him.
he denied anything being wrong.
refused to go to counseling.
the kids kept her busy
she was saving for a divorce
when he won lotto
because she did not want
to be called a gold digger…

but now
after the move
when he laid upon the sofa
unclean
drunk or high
when he refused to talk
or would disappear on his boat
or in his truck for days at at time
she began to leave him.
at first it was the pool guy-
he made her laugh
loved her kids
was kind
and loved to talk and listen…
a few months later
her husband found out
hit her with his fists
as she lay upon the
carpeted steps
trying to protect her face…
he was mad.
she knew she deserved every punch.
he left.
she packed the kids each a bag
started stashing cash
and waited to leave…
what was she waiting for?
why didn’t she grab the kids and just go?
in her heart
she knew
she had no place to go.
so, they stayed…
a month later
at the football field
in their car
while their daughters
ran around outside laughing
their son on the field
warming up for his game
as the sun shone
birds sang
and life whizzed by
he began…
“listen. i’m not mad at you. i forgive you.
this is about me…
when i was 12 i started wearing
women’s bras and panties
then i started taking my moms pills
to get me high and take away the shame i felt
that led to drinking which was easier to get
than any drugs…
my whole life,
up until i met you was about this.
i was 1 year clean when i met you.
i stayed clean until after molly was born
but i cannot deny who i am…”
sher
just
sat
there
looking out the window
smiling…
this is not about me?, she thought to herself
wowza…
right there a huge burden was lifted off of her…
the next day
he had his psychotic break.
was it her fault, really ?
no.
she knew that.
her infidelity
led him to finally
tell her his truths
and as he sat in a padded room
drool cascading from his lips
eyes barely open
as the counselor
spoke to both of them
she felt sad…
who was this person she married?
what was she going to do now?
as she walked out side after their session
and began the hour drive home
her mind began to wander
soon she heard her mothers words,
“sheri, even the broken deserve to be loved…”
she cried the rest of the drive home
called her own counselor
revealing what had transpired
in the last week…
“well, sheri, i have one bit of advice for you,
get the hell out of their with your kids
as fast as you can…”

Read More is enough, enough? at nautilus teachings

death changes you at nautilus teachings

death changes everyone.
for sher
she did divorce
her first husband.
there was no marriage left
it was not just her mother’s death
it was much deeper…
the year was 1980
first year in college
first love
first marriage proposal even,
but her mother told her
to break it off
she was too young
she needed to find out
who sheri was…
so,
sheri did just that.
when sher’s mom
met the man she eventually married
dory fell in love with him.
dory said to sheri,
“oh sher, i love him.
he is going far.
he will give you
a nice house
the country club
vacations
cars
a white picket fence
traveling
children…”
sher did what her mom wanted.
she played the part of being in love
had the big wedding
all the while seeing
talking to
meeting and making love with
her first love
twice a year.
as a matter of fact,
on sheri’s wedding day
she told her pastor friend
“i can’t do this. i don’t love him…”
he replied,
“take my hand. i will put you in a safe place
and talk to your parents…”
but she knew how much money
her father spent
her mother had just had a heart attack
a month prior,
her whole family was there
she could not
and would not
let them all down…
the night before
she talked to
her first love
he promised he would
pick her up
and they would elope…
he showed up
to steal her away
2 hours to late
she was already mrs…
now that her beautiful mom
was gone
she
could
and
would
leave
him…
the divorce was long
and horrible
he,
trying to prove she was
an unfit mother
by having this affair
with her first love
for so many years…
eventually the judge
asked him to stop wasting the courts time
granting the divorce.
nearly 2 years had passed
she had traveled to
cocoa beach
met a handsome bartender
fallen in love
and as soon as it was official
he moved into
the house
she built with her ex.
she was trying on life
living on the edge a bit
not knowing where life
was going to lead her.
this new guy loved her son
and in return nicholas,
on the day she married
the new guy in 1990
asked her,
“mommy, can i call him daddy?”
her heart was full.
life was good.
they were expecting
a child
both working hard
renting an old farmhouse
with wild berry bushes,
stray cats
raccoons
wildflowers
and lots of land to run on.
he sold beer
she managed a store
and on the weekends
she painted all the walls
with different murals
quilted the bedding
made drapes
wrote her stories
and on a cold day in december
Lauren was born.

she made trips to
visit the mausoleum
spending hours talking to her mom…
inside her heart, she knew
something was wrong…
she would cry
sitting upon the cold granite
leave pictures of Nicholas and Lauren
on a tiny table
then travel back home
empty
depleted
lost.
he started becoming angry
yelling
threatening to leave…
sher would beg him
on her knees
tears streaming down her cheeks
to stay…
her father was engaged
to marry one of her moms
good friends.
her brothers
went on with their lives too.
no one was close
to anyone
because the bonding agent
dory
was
dead.
11/2 years into her
second marriage
with a 5 year old son
and a new baby
the letter arrived.
dear mr….
we are a collection agency
you owe…
to…
we will be contacting
you to set up payments…
“WTF?”, sheri thought.
when he arrived home
he laughed at it…
“it’s just a health club
membership i never paid off
because you made me move here,
it’s no big deal. call them tomorrow
and put it on the credit card…”
she did as told.
baby number 2 arrived
2 years later
another girl,
Molly
he became more distant
but it was only for periods of time
his anger never subsided
and at times was unbearable.
she knew she chose this life
she knew she could leave
she knew
he had power over her
but mostly she knew
she had no idea
who she was…


she began a home daycare/preschool
they moved to a two story town home
on a tiny lake
he was still selling beer
she was settling into the life she chose.
one cold snowy day in February
Lauren, who was stubborn
as the day is long
refused to be potty trained.
she was exhausted
frustrated
and screamed,
“you will sit on that potty and you will go pee…”
Lauren looked up at her mom
scrunched her nose
and screamed,
“i don’t want tooooooo…”
then she peed upon the floor.
that was it
sher was done.
she threw a clean diaper on Lauren
popped on her hat, snowsuit, gloves and scarf
packed Laurens backpack with her blanky
sippy cup and snacks
walked her to the door and said,
“if you are not going to go pee in the potty
you can leave!”
Lauren looked up at her mom
and screamed,
“i hate you…”
then she trudged down the snowy steps
walked down the snowy sidewalk
to the corner stop sign
with sheri watching her closely the whole way.
Lauren stood there crying for only a moment
then she turned around walked back home
rang the bell
and when sheri opened the door
she said,
“fine! i will pee in the toilet”
sheri grabbed her up
and cried, 
“oh, Lauren, mommy is so sorry.
i love you…”
then she forgot about potty training
and never realized
this would be the first of many battles
she just had no strength to win…

Read More death changes you at nautilus teachings

side effects of death at nautilus teachings

after the funeral
what happens to
their clothes,
books, jewelry,
perfume
photos?
sheri’s father
did not have to make
that decision,
dory had done it all for him.
her beautiful pendleton suits
blouses, shoes, purses…
all were being donated
to a local charity
that gave young graduate women in need
the right clothes
to interview for jobs
and begin their adult lives…
books-stayed
photos-stayed
perfume-stayed on her bedside table
her nightgown and robe
on the chair beside it
her convertible-
to sher…
all that was left
were mixed up puzzle pieces
of dory-
her knitting bag was next
to the sofa
her book
and glasses upon
the coffee table
favorite blanket
in a piled on the
love seat she laid upon
her dirty laundry
was downstairs
her handwritten grocery list
still sat upon the counter
next to her 25+
medication containers,
half full, waiting
to pump more poison
into her body…
dory was everywhere-
her colors
had not faded at home
only her warm, loving light
was missing…
she was organized
even in her death
and would be missed
eternally…


the night after the funeral
her father took the whole family
to their mother’s favorite
italian restaurant-Maria’s.
they were all gathered
munching on salads
drinking wine
whispering with their spouses,
when,
glass of wine in hand
their father stood.
he looked broken
empty
lost…
he glanced at the floor
stumbled with his words
at first,
and began-
“tonight we remember your mother.
i know you all miss her,
as do i…
i wish i could trade places with her.
i know you all agree…”
their mouths dropped open
their eyes all widened
they were all in shock and disbelieve-
there
it
was-
TRUTH
if you could have asked each one of them
this question
they would have all answered
yes,
they wish it was him who died.
for this family
it was the mother-
dory,
who saved everyone
including their father,
she fought battles for them
she was verbally assaulted
by her sons and husband
but she stayed
she never left
she held her head high
kneeled in prayer daily
always knowing
sher was there for her…
so,
to hear the words
fall off his lips
so soon after death
stunned them all.
heads hung low
tears began to flow
wine glasses placed
back down
upon the red and white checkered
table cloth
sheri
wanted to run…


the restaurant was filled
with families
laughter
love
yet, here they all sat
at a time when
they needed to
share silly stories
reminiscing about mom
remembering how much
she loved to be sun tan
ride with the top down
bake fresh desserts every day
work in the church
how she found her voice
became successful
gave back more than
she ever was given
this is what they needed
but he took it all away in
those few words,
“i know you wish i died
instead of your mother…”
the night carried on
they ate and drank
in mostly silence.
the drive home was
a second death
for sher.
it
was
over.
her mother was gone
she would divorce her husband
maybe never talk to her brothers
and father again
all she had left
was nicholas…
the night was warm
stars brilliant in the dark sky
moon was big and hung low.
while her husband drove
the babysitter home
sheri sat staring at nicholas
his blonde halo of curls
tiny fingers and toes-
he was growing up so fast
that it took her breath away…
she wrapped him in his blanket
picked him up
sat holding him
in the chair her mother had given her…
she rocked him slowly
back and forth
watching him breath
smile in his dreams
just snooze away
as if nothing had happened…

she knew he would have no
memories of grandma
accept the few photos
sher had…
her husband came home
and never even looked for her
held her
or let her cry…
he
just
went
to
bed…
she began to spiral
into depression
and sadness
landing her
in a doctors office
riddled
with anorexia
anxiety
and chest pains…
at 27
sher was
living in a brand new home
with her husband
starting her own business
raising her son
all the while
living in the knowing
the madness must stop…
so after being told,
“do not let our son run up to me
when i get home…i need to be alone,
keep him away until i can unwind…”
and shoved against the wall
after hearing her father in law
tell her husband,
“you will loose her and your son
unless you change…”
sher pulled her husband aside
and said,
“i want a divorce…”
for sher
her mother’s death
brought awakening
which would eventually
lead to rebellion…
sher would
end 2 marriages
and raise 3 children
over 18 years
of pain
abuse
and suffering
before she could
honestly say,
‘my mother is dead.
i don’t know who i am.
i am willing to give
everything up
to find out who sheri is…’

Read More side effects of death at nautilus teachings

standing beside death at nautilus teachings

is there really
a final goodbye
when you lose someone
you dearly love?
sher stood by
her mothers casket
until every person had
come up
said their goodbyes
and the pastor
had long gone home.
her mother looked
beautiful,
even in her death.
her makeup was just right,
so was her hair.
she wore a dress
her aunt had sent
dory weeks prior
for an event she
would never attend.
death is still.
while all around
the flowers were blooming
the sun brilliant in the sky
the heat of summer rising up
as babies cried
people laughed
the life of
Doris VivianWilkinson Schultz
wife,
mother of 4
grandmother of 5
founder of ‘stitch and bitch’
daughter to Charlie,
sister to Elsie and Ed
friend to thousands…
a loving, giving, faith filled woman
former executive director
of the regional
American Cancer Society,
who dedicated her life
to the fight against cancer,
died of leukemia-
she was 55.
sher stood
vigilantly by her mother’s side
not letting anyone get too close.
when she first saw dory
lying in the casket
surrounded by flowers
it reminded her
of being small
watching her mother
tend to her flower beds…
she looked softly real
so she reached out
to take her mother’s hand
only to find it still,
cold,
covered in makeup
to hide the gray
bleak emptiness
death leaves behind.
at this very moment
she quickly withdrew her hand
smoothed the makeup out
sucked in a deep breath
and began to cry…
as the tears cascaded
down her soft cheeks
she heard movement-
it must be time,
she thought.
sher dried her eyes
took one more breath
and forced a tiny smile…


one by one
they strolled up the isle
glanced down
prayed
looked at sheri
then stopped at her fathers side
all saying,
‘i’m sorry for your loss…
dory was such a lovely woman…
i loved her so much…
she will be missed…’
time just disappeared
the ticking of clocks
was no longer heard
dory
was
dead…
sheri
was
alone…
whew!
how would she lead her life now?
who was going to be her compass?
how long would she continue
to stay with her husband?
they had been building a new home
across town
15 miles away
from the hospital
her mother died in.
the move was soon.
‘sher’, her father called out
‘it’s time to go to the mausoleum…’
a quiet drive
through the town dory loved
down her cinnamon lane
past the high school sher graduated from
the mcdonalds she loved so much
entering a long winding lane
surrounded by graves
of so many people
until at last
home…
dory’s home
from now on.
a granite piece
had been taken down
the casket had been loaded
upon sliding bars
the family stood around
a prayer was said
her boxed beauty
wheeled into a hole
granite replaced
one by one people left
and soon sher
was alone…
her hand glided
across the stone cold grave
which held her mother…


“oh mommy…what are nicholas and i going to do, now ?
how can i be a good mother without you?
how will i make it as a single mom?
i know you would be upset that i
am choosing divorce.
that is why i stayed married until you died…
i’m sorry mom.
i love you…’
then she walked out
into the sun
her husband holding their son
chatting with her family.
she soaked it all up
breathed in her mothers death
felt her mothers strength encompass her
knowing God was with her
held her head high
smiled
and said,
“well, let’s go toast mom.
it’s time for a drink!”
believe it or not,
everyone smiled
nodded their head
got in their cars
and began hearing the
tic tic ticking of lifes clock again…
not her father.
he stayed.
walked in the mausoleum
for his own final goodbye
to the dory he loved.
is there really
a final goodbye
when you lose someone
you dearly love?
no.
there is an understanding
an acceptance
you will never hug them
hear their voice
feel their touch
smell their scent…
common sense
and the brain tell you
they are gone,
but the heart
oh,
that big ole’ beating thing
inside your chest
it breaks wide open
and lays in wait
for the healing balm
of love, time, faith
laughter,
just life
to slowly sew it up
with golden threads of memory
only shared
between
you
and
the
person
you loved
and lost…
for sher
this would never happen
for her
even 30 years later
it still felt like yesterday
she still catches her mothers scent
now and then
still sees her mother smile
hears her giggle
visits her in her dreams
talks to her about everything…
for sher
her mother
lives on through her son-
he is the living connection
between death and life
for sher…
no,
he has no memory of grandma
only a few faded photographs
and the few words from his mother,
“nicholas james…
you saved my mothers life,
if only for a short time…
i love you my son…”

Read More standing beside death at nautilus teachings

last breath at nautilus teachings

death chooses
it’s date and time.
for Dory
she spent one last night
in the hands of the man
who loved her.
he sat in darkness
holding her hand
and praying all night.
he slept
with his head upon her bed
in the morning
as the sun rose
he wiped down
her face and hands
with warm water
and waited for death.
early, Sheri arrived
hugged her father
kissed her mother
one last time
and headed out.
her mother had come
to her in her sleep last night
“sheri lynn, you take my credit card
and your sister-in-laws out shopping tomorrow
for a nice outfit to wear to my funeral
i can’t have you all looking
like ragamuffins!”
then she saw her mom smile.
heard her mother’s giggle
and decided to do as told.
only one of her sister-in-laws
decided to go with her
they drove to the mall in silence
both picked out something
mom would approve of
and when the cashier asked her,
“how will you be paying for this?”
at the instant sheri said, 
“charge it…”
her mother took her last breath.
sheri turned to debbie and said,
“mom just died, we have to go…”
they raced home
to find her mom’s friend
inside with all 5 of the children…
“oh, Sheri…”she began
but sheri interrupted her
“i know. mom died.
thank you for watching the kids.”
then they drove the 4 blocks
debbie hung back allowing
sheri space to mourn.
the elevator seemed to stop
at every floor
as sheri cried
head against the elevator wall
and then
bing!


she slowly stepped off.
everyone was in her moms room
the sheet was over her head.
“what are you doing?
she can’t breath like that?”
sheri cried.
then she raced up
pulled back the cover
and felt the chill of death.
her mom was already turning gray
body cooling off
all the monitors were blank
no one spoke.
death
had
arrived for Dory
on July 20, 1987
at 1:58pm
at the age of 55
while the glorious
favorite words Dory always spoke,
‘charge it’
were spoken by her beloved
sheri lynn!
the sun shone brightly
the birds chirped outside
dory’s window
while sheri’s husband
worked
without pause
or acknowledgment ,
there
was
silence.
sheri did not grieve.
she raced home
held her son
started warming food
opened up the doors to her home
called the head of the prayer chain
knowing soon her house
would be flooded with
love!
love for Dory
sharing funny stories
laughter and tears
would be bouncing off the walls
wine would be drank
food eaten
babies would cry
the moon would rise,
life would continue on
leaving behind
a huge empty space
a seeping hole
in sheri’s heart
never to be mended
healed or filled again…
as the night wore on
her husband arrived home
people were still lingering
not wanting to leave
this last moment
of new death behind.


whispered conversations were
happening inside and out
“sheri, did your mom die today?”
sheri just nodded her head
and fell into him for a hug.
after a few moment
he gently pushed her aside
and said,
“good. now my house will get back to normal.”
right there
at that moment
he danced upon her mother’s grave.
this was unforgivable
it broke her open
even further.
she stilled
looked at him
and said,
“yes. we will all be out of your hair soon…”
she had no idea who this guy was.
how he could be so cold
but the one thing she did know
what this was the beginning
of the end of her marriage…
“sheri, sheri…”
she turned to see her
mom’s friend bev,
“oh, sheri. your mother loved you so much.
she was so proud of you…”
then together they cried,
laughed,
shared wine
and remembered
the Dory
everyone here
knew and loved.
she had touched thousands of lives
she
was
loved.
the day drew to a close
her son was sleeping in his crib
the moon shinning through
her windows
as it did the night
the Holy Spirit came to her.
she slowly cleaned up
the house
all the while reciting
to herself
Psalm 23

The LORD Is My Shepherd
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

in the still silent
heated breeze of july
sheri sat
looking at her
mother’s photograph
as tears began
streaming down her cheeks
she cried herself
into one last sleep
before the final goodbye began.

Read More last breath at nautilus teachings

deaths cocoon at nautilus teachings

for some of us
we are given the gift
of loosing someone
we love in slow increments~
is it a gift?
that depends if you accept
the reality
they
are
dying…
in sher’s case
she never accepted
nor believed it.
her dad told her
her mom was not dying.
her two brothers
never flew home
to say goodbye
she
was
not
dying…
but reality was,
Dory was loosing her fight
to the big C.
when sheri left her father’s house
she drove very slowly home.
it was mid afternoon
Nicholas needed a nap
and she was exhausted.
together,
mother and son
lay upon the waterbed and dreamed.
she was awakened
by the door loudly closing,
“sheri?”
her husband was home.
she rose,
leaving Nicholas snoring away…
“shhh, Nicholas is still asleep.”
then she burst into tears
and began unraveling
the story of her day.
when she was finished
his reply was,
“when is your mother going to die?”
this sucked the wind out of her lungs
so she spun around walked into the bedroom
grabbed her son
got in her car
and drove to the hospital.
her mom’s room was dimly lit
there was a tube coming from her mouth
but she was breathing on her own
dad was huddled
asleep in a chair
beside her bed…
she glanced at the two
he was holding her
mother’s hand.
she knew they loved
one another
but she had no clue
as to why.


she turned,
exited the room
and ran into Dory’s dr.
“hey,” he said.
“i’m so sorry about your mom…
is this your son?
he is adorable…”
sheri glanced up at him
ready to burst open
and bawl like a baby.
she sucked in a deep breath
and began,
“did i kill my mother? i took her for
a walk in her wheelchair today…”
she told him the whole story
as Nicholas teethed upon
the dr.’s stethoscope.
when she was done
the doctor placed his hand
upon her shoulder
as he had in every conversation
they had exchanged,
“sheri. no way you killed your mother.
i cannot believe she lasted this long.
you have been given quite a gift…”
it did not feel like a gift,
it felt like a take back…
her short drive home
turned into sheri circling
the few blocks over and over
how could she have been
so blind,
stupid even?
all this time her head
may have known mom was dying
but her heart refused to believe it
so tonight
reality began to set in.
she opened the door
to her home,
changed, fed and put Nicholas
down for the night.
her husband was already asleep
so she put on her jammies
brushed her teeth
grabbed a soft blanket
grabbed a glass of wine
and headed to the back porch…
she sat looking at the stars
sipping her wine
when exhaustion took over…


the reels of her memories
began playing little snippets
of her moms hands
baking
knitting
teaching
creating
holding
loving
healing
her heart and her hands
were always so full of love.
the strongest memory
she had of her mother
was presence.
there was not a day
night, time, place, situation
that her mother
was not there
did not listen
ever leave her…
in fact her mother
kept sheri close
by her side
protected her
as much as she
possibly could
from her brothers ugliness
rescued her from
bullies at school…
dory taught sheri to pray
to have deep faith
to listen and be still
and now,
she had begun to teach her
about being a mom
when,
WHAM!
God was calling her home.
a swift breeze
pulled back the blanket
which encompassed her.
she rose
took her glass
and went inside to bed…
how would she manage life
without mom?
would her marriage survive?
could she be a single mom?
what about her father?
questions,
so many of them
ran through her head so fast
it was like the
tic tic ticking of a stop watch
counting down the minutes
until Dory took her last breath…


restlessly she rose before the sun
gathered up Nicholas
and silently left
her husband sleeping
alone.
today,
she thought
today i begin leaving life…
but first,
i must organize my
mothers funeral
make all the calls
decide what clothes
mom will wear at her funeral…
the list kept growing
inside sheri’s head
the elevator dinged
as mother and son
entered Dory’s room.
her father was silently crying.
she sat Nicholas upon
the bed with his grandmother
walked over to her father
and said,
“dad….”
he looked up at her
“all night long i prayed, sher
and then the Lord rose me up
out of my chair
held me in His arms
and told me it was time
for mom to go home…
we have to release her today, sheri…”
she looked at her mother
fighting death
trying to climb out of bed
moaning
as if trying to speak…
just then her oldest brother
burst through the door
“mommy, mommy…”
as death began weaving
a cocoon around
her mother…

Read More deaths cocoon at nautilus teachings