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