Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Dragon for Mother's Day



 "A dragon's heart burns fiercely, even in the face of evil."
~S.G. Rogers

I've had a rough couple of days, well for a little while now. Not just in the advocate world but, just in general social media. I've been sitting on a few things that have not sat very well with me and between last week and yesterday, it became clear quite clear a few things that really pissed me off due to cowards who have nothing more to do than to cause problems. After several messages, deletes and arguments I was able to clear up at least a few things and removing myself from other problems. Facebook is a great way to communicate but, you always have a few (well a lot more than a few) to cause havoc, stir the proverbial shit pot and are just malicious to be so. It's a shame that we depend on it so much for communication with families such as ours but yet, sometimes you want to just secretly admit you are adopted and lay no claim to those people who say "we're family". Sometimes my husband and I will peruse and wonder, how does one just sit there and, do that all day long? I actually feel very sorry for those types of people. That causes toxic waste to be dumped in a few places and, I know that if my friends knew, it would hurt them. Protective I am; probably my biggest downfall and fatal flaw. Outspoken? Yeah but, I wasn't always. I'd like to thank and blame Uncle Sam for that one and War, because I never would've said half of what I have, had I not waded through years of crap, excuses and getting mad. Sometimes, the combination of the two makes me settle in easier with men than women. Perhaps it's because men are just simpler. Cut to the chase, land the damn plane and quit circling the airport. You might piss your buddy off a time or two but, guys just get over it. Maybe it's because sometimes I call it as I see it and, perhaps that peep into reality is scary. I will be the first to admit to not only you but to myself, I no longer play well with others. I am completely okay with that statement and it's one my husband jokes that the grasshopper has learned quite well. Yesterday, I tried to sit outside and think about home, family that has gone on and, getting back to what I know best.

The war between what is right and wrong is a difficult one to battle no matter what the situation is. I chose to speak up because it went against my principles and beliefs. In doing so, as always, it was the wrong thing to do apparently to many. No matter how much you defend a group or one person, if you have no back up; you are immediately viewed as the problem rather than the actual problem that needs to be addressed. In my heart though, no matter the cost, true friendship is a gift. Trust is also a gift and combined, both are precious ones because in our lives that we lead now, it's very hard to hold on to friendships. I've had some friends for more than seven years and, some even longer. Confiding in me, stays just that....with me. I still like to believe in brotherhood, sisterhood but, some have really made me question whether that is still regarded as a belief anymore or if anyone still gives a shit about it period? Am I the only one left who still believes? The military brat in me was raised with more than one father. I had many and would watch in awe how they conducted themselves and, the bond of brotherhood. I cut my teeth on black polished boots, a sea of BDU's, respect, honor, integrity and faith. It's something that has always stuck with me. Trust was drilled into my head early on and, my Southern Belle mama would always say "trust and true friends don't come easy so when you do have one, don't let it slip. Don't fight without making up because in the end, that silly fight will seem so little compared to the greatness of the friendship. " "Never betray their confidence especially when it comes from the heart because you are simply taking their heart and tromping on it. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." All of us kids would roll our eyes and say yeah, yeah yeah. As I get older though I think back on all these things and know now what my mother meant. Days like these I wish my mom was still around to comfort me when I second guess myself. There are probably only a few in my life who truly "get" me.

“There can be as many wrong reasons to do the right thing as there are stars in the sky. There might even be more than one legitimate right reason. But there is never a right reason to do the wrong thing. Not ever.” ~D. K. Paul

Last night I spoke to a dear, dear friend and vented because I wanted to say so much and defend myself but, even then...that would have violated others in the process. So I was stuck but, I had others in the crossfire and stuck some more. It's a tailspin you are trying to correct without any sense of direction and wondering how do I fix this without betraying one or the other? This places one in an awkward position because no matter how you handle it, you are the bad person when really? It had absolutely nothing to do with me what so ever and I don't even remember now how the hell I ever got dragged in the middle of it! I felt better talking and laughing but, got off to check my messages and, to my dismay found a harsh one that started me saying something to begin with. Yet, here I was looking like the fool all while trying to protect what is dearest to me. I deleted without responding. There isn't any point and lately, I have come to some decisions in my life that I do not belong with some, others are debatable and if they don't accept me, flaws and all....what kind of friends are they really? Did it hurt though...yes. While strong, I still have feelings and bleed just like anyone else. Some are advocates and nothing irks me more than not standing up for yourself but, expect changes. If you can't stand up for yourself, how does one stand up for others? If you say nothing, how do you plan to change anything?

Late last night my husband was dropped off and came in to find me crying over yet, another nasty message. This made 39 in less than 48 hours many of which had nothing to do with me but, friends spatting with each other. He opened, he responded, he deleted and, he turned off my computer. He said "come sit with me a spell and wipe your tears they ain't worth it". So I dried up my tears and he said "When I was at war, I took several stands for the men in my platoon and even though not a single one of them would stand up with me; it was worth taking the back lash because in war, there were lines crossed by some that should have never happened and what is right, is right. The best leaders take care of their men first and put them first always. Even if that means you standing out all by yourself. It's how they earned your respect. Those were true leaders. Same for medics, you may be wounded but, you treated everyone else and wait til last for yourself if you ever got the chance. Sometimes standing up is the most courageous thing you can ever do especially when it goes against your raisin' and what's right."

He handed me a tissue wrapped gift. Inside lay an ivory carved, five clawed dragon sitting on top of antique rosewood. Underneath it has Japanese symbols (going to assume the carvers name) and Nagasaki, Japan 1944 etched and worn. He said "I saved a little out of my spending money because she had layaway and I know I missed a lot of Mother's days. The lady at the antique store I purchased it from said the five clawed dragon symbolizes strength. You showed more strength than anyone I know. Benevolence, when we had no more to give but, you gave it all including your heart to many. Power because somehow you fought off my demons and kept right on fighting. Renewal of life is another one. You take care of me and I know that I am hard to handle. You saved me along with others though even when it meant it took everything from you so I guess that means you renewed life in some. Lastly, the five claws she says means imperial royalty and an, outstanding person of accomplishments and leadership. It was a well wish that most would be born under the sign of the dragon. Your leadership has turned many heads and you do outstanding work and I would have followed you into battle anytime anywhere. I bought this not just because it's an antique and know you would appreciate the history but, more importantly to help remind you that true leadership means doing the right thing and, to remember the accomplishments you have made. I know you have struggled trying to figure out your life and still juggle the family. You are all these things and more which is why I chose to give you a dragon for Mother's Day. I know you struggle but, you can either be who you are or be someone who you aren't." He said "I was so excited to finally pick it up but, then to come home to see your heart hurting made me think it's time for the grasshopper to see she's really a dragon. That, and I will more than likely hide it and forget like I did the other two I still can't find. I thought you could put it on your desk so when you write or you have self doubt, you can look up at that dragon sitting there and hopefully remember what the hell I said because I probably won't. Now go find a pile of gold and promptly put your ass on it and guard it fiercely like only you can" .

These are the moments that make fighting off those demons worth it and man, did I hang on to every word he said. There was no need for saying anything more, no need to agree to disagree...just simple intimacy and holding me was all I really needed. Someone who understood my inner battles and struggles, and to know who I really am as a person and appreciates every quality. Just knowing for one moment there....the demons were at ease and I had a moment with my husband.

I stayed awake all night long last night, tossing and turning on some decisions. Should I kill off Uncle Sam's Mistress and not blog anymore? Should I leave some things and some people behind because I just don't fit? Where does the square person fit in the round sphere of life or do you just stand on your own and alone? Mostly though, I thought of my husband and how he viewed the things that I needed the most to hear all while battling his own struggles. While to some, it might be the strangest Mother's Day gift ever been given but, he knows the inner part of me that sees both sides of the fence and that includes the man or woman who carved this and roughly polished, etched his/her name and knowing the atom bomb dropped just a year later. (Picture doesn't show all it's nicks and rough cuts nor does it do justice but it was 4 a.m.) Knowing perhaps a Veteran carried it all the way home or someone who came from a home that was war torn and ravaged and how far it traveled. Just breathing it in smelled of history and it's a smell of familiarity and one I adore. The fact he remembered Mother's Day and his sense of humor about his brain injuries meant the world to me. While all this was put into the thought, his gift of simple words and awkward show of emotions that he could pull out for me for that short time period, was a gift in itself. Sometimes I know he feels the same as I do and as such, we are the kindred spirits although we are the exact opposite. Two lost souls trying to find that one place of solitude and peace in a world that we once belonged in but, no longer are welcomed nor do we fit. In that one moment though...suspended in time, we found something in each other through a dragon that had no home; mutual respect for each other no matter how war and it's impact changed us as individuals.

I mulled over his words for a long time, and got up to take notes so I could remember. I sat and watched the sun come up over the mountains with my moo-cows and the more I thought of it, him and my friends; the more I realized that I'd be better off alone than be someone I'm not in a crowded room. What friends I do have, I will cherish and continue on with but with some, things have changed. What really is important is who is left standing and takes you however you are..... even if that means you are that roughly polished, hand etched by your beliefs, nicked, cut up person who has traveled a few thousand miles. The same goes for our Veterans who are also weary, scarred inside and out and left trying to find their way through their own struggles on top of everything else. I think we all need to find our own way to become that inner dragon and finally just accept that we are who we are and leave the rest up to our own chosen paths.............

To attract good fortune, spend a new coin on an old friend,
share an old pleasure with a new friend, and lift up the heart of a true friend 
by writing his name on the wings of a dragon. ~Ancient Chinese Proverb








19 comments:

  1. Hang in there! You are loved more than you know! Some people only know how to hate! My daughter is experiencing this hate by her BFFs right now as she stood up to them for the way they treat others not in their group! Now she is the focus of their hate and lies and is sad and crying every day as she went from popular to hated in a week! Hate what people do to others for whatever reason! This is not the way to be at 17, 27, 47, or 77!

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  2. This was awesome. You deserve it and you've been so nice to me. Hell between us all, you have a small army and I'd follow you into battle as well. Happy mums day from my famiy to you fierce one!

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  3. Your blog makes me feel so not alone. I always keep checking back for new ones. Renewal of life yes! Even with bad days you.comfort me. I hope one day to find my voice but please don't kill off the mistress just yet! I love where you husband said about his memory and gifts he hid. You have given more than renewal you gave me strength and hope because I've followed for a while now and one can see where you grew and got stronger. This prob is one of my favorites. Your fan, michelle russell

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  4. NEG-A-TIVE ghostrider! WTF! Screw those who don't find truth and know the difference between wrong and right. Got nothing to do but stir the pot so let them boil in it! Karmas a bitch man! Shit you got more backbone than all spouses on my post combined. I hear them bitching and whining but they dont do anything. I've kept quiet but theres times wherreI want to smack the shit oit if them for demanding too much on guys that come home. Need to get over it. Need to be normal again. Do they not read???? Spend less time on facebook and more rime understanding yoir veteran I say! Dragon? YES! He chose wisely and you know I adore you as my sister even if ny another mister. You were always there to listen and just had the right way to make my grouchy ass laugh. You are a wise soul and people miss it. Carry In! MarineDawg

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  5. Wish you knew how many squares you have in readers. We dont have much in way of people like you here in UK. So squares we be and although my son and you're husband are different they are so alike. It comforts me to know I can speak to you by reading all while having tea. I've learned a great bit from you. God bless and Happy Mums Day love!

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  6. DesertcoloredglassesMay 9, 2014 at 5:35 AM

    Listen up. You followed me through two tours and helped my wife and family. You weren't afraid to put me in my place and prob make a damn good drill sarge! You healed woth words so a dann good medic. You led me through and told me to seek help or you'd put a boot up my ass remember? My wife learned more from you than we ever did at the VA. Dragon? Hell yeah! Listen I got an aw2 and even I told her to read because she could learn a few things about advocating. People bitch but do nothing. How does that help? It doesn't. I'd say be the biggest damn dragon there is. You aren't alone but its mighty fine ro see an old schooler who knows what the military means. You aren't some rank wearing or injury wearing loser. You always said my husband or I did this. Thought I didn't pay attention huh? No shit at Walter reed? Damn skippy wives say I am a LTs wife and I demand this! Or I we are in so much pain. Who the hell got their leg ripped off her or him? Who served and saw shit no one should? I know spouses and family lose too though and the hell we bring home. But its different demons and different pain. You lead by example and in order to be a leader you mustt follow orders and the shit that goes with it. You've always been a leader. Now if we can just get rid if that ahitty tattoo and get you a bad ass one. Keep going.

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  7. I met you in Washington. When I read this I felt sadness because you are such a wonderful person and some of those ladies I was with? Hateful, spiteful, selfish, self centered, title wearing and mean. God I cant believe I just said that! I was kind of ashamed as I was looking around the room at some. Maybe not ashamed but disappointed. I don't want to put my name on this because it will just start a storm of crap again and know of the things you spoke of here. They only do it because you are the voice of reason sometimes. It does put you in a bad spot and was very upset because of some of the things said in one of the groups. You didn't take sides you just called it as you see it and no one could come back with anything to say. I was like Take that! I was so shocked to learn in DC that I was in the room with the very same USM. I nearly choked when I found out. I don't know if you remember me but I came to your room when you were sick. Asked about Capital Hill? Even though you were really sick and laying there, you made me feel confident. You were easy to just talk to and hang out. Its like being with someone you've always known. You gave me courage and told me you can't be an advocate if you are scared of a few politicians and more importantly can't stand on your own two feet. You asked me what I wanted most and I said change. I will never forget you lifting that cloth up on one eye and said "then go do it". I wanted so badly to tell you I knew who you were but I also wanted to know that I could smile and say yes, she is exactly who she is in her blog. You might be different, you might be vocal but you always called it as you saw it and that's what made me start reading you several years ago. In your room you told me you weren't always this strong or always so vocal. I couldn't believe it! Here I thought, is this woman that has been through so much and yet, sporting this purple streak with a don't give a crap attitude. You said I just got damn mad and the walls broke! I felt so bad because here was literally my hero, so sick and no one really even was concerned. Yet, you still lifted up that wash cloth and told me that "big wigs" put their pants on the same way I did and how long you had before you lost their attention. I still laugh because you said you have to flash a boob in your mind but with words in your mouth. Stand tall and confident because they can smell fear. You voted for them, you pay taxes and your husband served this country. They essentially work for you so make them do their job! Let them know you got the old stink eye and watching. I know I thanked you a zillion times but wanted you to know out of all the women and men there? You were my favorite because no, you didn't follow along. All I could think was I wish I had her strength. Thank you for the pep talk because it went great and some have followed up. I plan on meeting with my mayor soon. More importantly thank you for just being you. I think that shocked me more than anything to see my favorite blogger and to meet her. I read others and they aren't like they seem in their words. You are literally the same person. Sometimes quiet, sometimes vocal, kind and wise and just put it there. There should be more like you. The reason I think you feel sometimes that you don't fit in? Is because simply, the rest doesn't fit in with YOU. Thank you again for spending time with me and I hope you know you changed my life. Maybe you just don't realize it but, you did and you helped me to be a better caregiver. In fairy tales the dragon was always the bad guy but in many stories, the dragon was the guardian of many and wise souls that were majestic. Even though you apologized for looking so bad while sick, I thought if you only knew how bright and beautiful your soul shined through. Lots of blessings to you Uncle Sam's Mistress. I think you will know who I am.

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  8. I found myself saying to my husband taste the rainbow after he had his moment. I didn't know who Madea was until I read your blog on FB. I watched a few and loved it! My husband was so caught off guard he dropped the argument. It was like winning a race and I beat the monster! You say things that most don't want to talk about but should. I feel better knowing that someone is! You can say what I can not. This blog is fantastic and should be a guide for any caregiver. You reminded me today that I need to be more cautious of up bringing. You are a leader!

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  9. I wish I had the courage to say all you do. I am afraid to speak up. I know you are a spouse but how did you and your vet just start? I want my wife to get this mad to say stuff. She is scared. I am out and trying to find my way. How did he come home and just be open. appreciate what u write and your integrity. OIF reader mark

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  10. I LOVE this post. I am the caregiver/vet to my wife who was injured in 2008. Its weird and complicated to be this way and live this life. I read you to understand myself and her. So do not kill off the mistress. I need the light on Ma'am. You give me hope that I can reach that laughter and see the moments in my wife. In me. SSGT Kimball

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  11. Hell no you won't kill off the Mistress! Who would I have as my step in wife? Fuck that! People who are put off by honesty are those who fear it will show their true selves. Your husband is right. Best damn leader I had made sure we had our shit together and put us first. He had balls. You rock. Brotherhood is still here. Just some stopped and left it behind. dont know how to get that back. But to me you are a brother because you didn't leave me behind. God Bless.

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  12. Like your Blog. I know its about family and you're point of view but i learn a lot about struggles my family goes through. Way more than that VA bullshit they gave us to read. Don't stop cause of doubt on brotherhood. Its a bond that you cant break and you have my highest respect. I dont comment much but like you are cut to the chase. Dont lose that. We need you.

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  13. I read this and ashamed to say I was one who said something shitty. I didn't think at time what was really going on and how you simply stood up to right the wrongs. You were really sweet and kind to me when I met you but didn't understand when you stepped in to put some of us in our place. Now I get it and who you are. Please forgive me and hope we can still be friends. Jessica

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  14. I also met you in DC in '12 and couldn't believe that you are exactly like you write. Its a rare quality that you find someone so open and honest but be the same person that's not hiding behind the screen. People tend to hover because you have a gift of light and strength. I think sometimes it can be too much for some because you show that they haven't changed. Change for me is scary. Even though we don't know each other well? I noticed you are kind, thoughtful and extremely smart. Your husband was right because you are feirce and protective. I'll never forget someone made a comment about First amendment rights and you said "haven't you heard? Yes we do BUT they are limited by ones who want us to be silenced and the ones who are silent and say nothing". I saw where a few were nastily referred to in other groups and what you said was admirable and the truth. Those that are pissed because I know you put them in their place are simply haters. You stood up for friends and took the lashes. I hope they understand why you did it. You are the reason I educated myself on my vets health, you are the reason I now sport two blond highlights and you are the reason I dance around the bathroom with the music.blaring. i can only hope you know how much you've changed lives. You showed me hope USM when there was none. God bless you and thank you for leading us into this battle and being that strength to get us through.

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  15. I'd follow you to the moon and back. I love you dear dragon with your wise words and.no nonsense approach. Am old school USMC and man, so glad we are OUT! Do I miss it? Hell yeah! But these kids and esp wives need their asses handed back to them some more. I hope your husband knows what a gem he's got! I appreciate your humor and wisdom. Dragons may have been fearsome and picked their teeth with the bones of the enemy but they were known for guarding wisdom, truth and knowledge. So eat a few fuckers and pat your belly and semper fi ALL THE WAY!

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  16. You have always given me strength and even when you are sad im glad because I am sad and not alone. I wish i could speak out the way you do. Sometimes I read and cry with you or sometimes I laugh out loud. You have a gift USM for seeing things we often miss. Know you have many Aussie fans.

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  17. Yea know of a few advocates who aint worth a shit. Amazes me their vets are even seen with them let alone let them run loose. Nothing worse than an ID card chaser than a spouse who wears rank or injury. To me that says look at me i need attention. Now there are some good ones but theres some that just want another fancy card and tell you how much they care. I rank that shit up with the army telling me they care. Some do awesome things and some only do it so people know who they are. We got posers and you got posing wives too. Don't change who u are cause then you'd lose our respect.

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  18. Another spouse and fan passed your blog on to me! I am so very thankful and find that I go back to read from the start. Learned more from you than anyone. My husband is TBi, PTSD and bilat amputee. You're right. Mine will get in a group and my hubbie will say can replace legs but cant replace brains. They don't compare or one up another. You've been through a lot of shit yet here you are strong and still funny. You make me want to be a better caregiver and spouse. A better example and ashamed to admit I used to get mad when wives would compare. When i read this? Realized I was an asshole too. So thank you for reminding me what's important and being a good role model. How did you start to blog and advocate? I am interested but not sure if I have a powerful voice. Keep writing and I'll keep learning and grow. Hugs!

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  19. Maybe more people need to be squares and the rest can go find a hole to crawl into! Enjoy your writing.

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