Friday, May 05, 2006

Spiritual Reunions, Michael

Swimming In My Own Stream

My step-daddy Michael, whom I loved dearly killed himself several years ago. The day before it happened (July 28th) was my 32nd birthday.

We were very close when I was a little girl and I remember when he taught me that no one was "the boss of me" on my fifth birthday. I had come to him in tears earlier because one of my girlfriends (CHRISTINE) was trying to be "the boss of me" on my special day!

He stooped down eye level with me and said "Teecy-bee-bee chicky baby (his pet namet for me), no one is the real boss of you but you".

Ooh, my little mind danced with delight, this was just dandy news, I'm my own boss, yippy!

Then he said "Yes, being your own boss is terrific but (figures, there's always a but) that doesn't mean that you are free to do as you like, so much as it means your free to do as you choose".
Choose? Hmm, he was getting deep on me. This meant he wanted me to think about what this meant for the next ten, twenty, thirty.... rest of my life.

He wanted me to always think about what my choices meant, some choices would bring joy, some wouldn't even seem like choices and still others could have grave consequences. "Your choices are precious" he said "be responsible for them".

So there I was on my 32nd birthday, choosing to frame a wall (naturaly) when suddenly I get the queerest picture in my minds eye, Michael was buying a gun and planning to shoot himself!

I remember saying to myself "That's a strange thing to think about on your birthday freak, knock it off." I told my husband and he concurred, as usual on the freak part.

If I had a phone I would have called him but I was in the middle of no-where Montana and wouldn't have access to a phone for a few more days when the home-owner finally had his phone line hooked up.

So I let it go.

The next morning I woke up at around 5:00 am with a terrible headache in my right temple. I woke my husband up to tell him I didn't think I could make it to work; he took one look at me and with a shocked expression said "My god honey, look at your head!" I got up and looked in the mirror and was stupified to see that my right temple was swollen to a monsterous proportion.

The nearest thing to a doctor was actually a "medicine man/herbalist" 45 minutes away, if I wanted an M.D. I would be traveling for a couple of hours on a bumpy road, no thanks!

I opted to just stay in bed for a few days while I recovered from...whatever the heck it was.

When I did go back to work the phone was in working order, and my little brother had managed to track me down after trying to locate me all weekend. I thought he called to wish me a happy birthday but (see, another but) instead he called to tell me that Michael (his biological father) had shot himself in the head (right temple) early (around 5:00 am) the morning of July 29th, the same morning I awoke early with a headache and a strangely swollen temple!

That night after I'd fallen asleep, Michael appeared to me in spirit as I was dreaming. In my dream I was in a large vacant room with huge windows and lots of warm golden light; he standing just outside of the largest window looking in at me when he told me with tears in his eyes "I'm sorry, I just didn't know" I took that to mean that he was so lost at the time he took his own life that didn't know what else to do.

This was one of those grave choices.

I told him that I loved him very much and that it was ok. I wanted him to be happy and to find some peace (he looked so sad).

I still try to be thoughtful about the choices I make, and sometimes it's still difficult. I am ever mindful that my life is my responsibility, and I do my best not to blame anyone else for my short comings (not that I wouldn't like to at times).

I'm grateful to a man who made the choice to teach a little girl that the measure of her came not only from the choices she made in her life, but whether she took responsibility for her failings as well as her triumphs.

I certainly haven't always made good or even smart choices in my life, but I've learned to accept them all as precious gifts (painful or not) thanks to him.

I still think of my Michael dad nearly every day, and always with lots of love...

spiritual reunions

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