Eyes really are a window into the soul.

They have so much to say without a single word spoken. You can look at someone, read their eyes and just know.

You can see their emotions, feelings, almost their thoughts.

As a photographer, I always go right for the eyes. Always. The eyes control the mouth, the shoulders, the breathing, the expression. If not controlling, then most definitely reflecting.

I rarely focus in on anything else, I always go right for the eyes.

When I meet someone, eyes. They show me to be guarded or let my guard down.

With the eyes comes their energy. You can feel it, you can feel if you’re safe. You can feel if it’s not something you want to be around, or you can be drawn in and not want to look anywhere else, but right at them.

Eyes. They have so much to say.

A single glance can set you on fire.

Or make you cry.

Or make you smile.

Or they can stay with you long after you have parted.

They really are the window.

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Lost in thoughts.

I’ve been trying to step away from all things dealing in infidelity. One of the hardest things I did was remove twitter from my phone.

I was losing my mind and had to whittle down my social media accounts and just step away for a bit.

I took all my infidelity books to goodwill.

I just stepped away. I absolutely had to.

It’s been two months. Though I have removed myself from immersing in it, I guess it doesn’t really go away.

Does it? It just doesn’t.

I just passed dday. 7 years since the day I found out. It doesn’t hurt like it did.

It doesn’t consume me, it doesn’t seem to matter. There is some anger, but mostly at myself that it’s been 7 years and I swear I thought I would be over it. Or at least no longer thinking of it. Or whatever.

That fight we had in February, that day after I wrote of the work flowers, it changed me. Something inside flipped. A switch was audibly heard. A click that snapped into place that even two months later I’m trying to figure out.

I’ve spent the past weeks very quiet. A lot of time at the gym, in the woods, reading everything that is mindless and watching unimpressive series on netflix.

But there is a stirring today. Triggers? Thoughts? I don’t know. Triggers usually cause a physical and emotional reaction in me, and that’s not happening.

But the side of me that still is trying to figure it all out is deep in relating psychologically to him today. I want to know what was in his head. The how. The why.

He went to her. He made a choice, an entire town away, to flick his signal up and turn right. He showed up in her place of work.

He took her to lunch that day. He exchanged numbers with her. It was a Thursday. He lied to me that following Saturday and went to her again. I saw the phone records. Long conversations. Long. He lied to me about band practice on Tuesday and went to her house. Before she blocked me on Facebook, I saw her post that Tuesday about how excited she was about leaving work early and going home to make dinner.

I guess for him.

So in the end, he pursued her.

I hope whatever pile of shit she cooked for him that night had onions in it. He hates them. I hope he choked a little on one. I hope every single time she cooked for him it had onions in it.

Eight days into their relationship (lmao) he was demanding pictures of her and she was obliging, since I guess they thought they were safe because he was on a camping trip. They didn’t know his old iPhone was still connected here at the house.

What was that like for him? Putting that blinker on and going 25 minutes her way to her town? Slipping his ring off and tucking it into his pocket as he walked through her doors?

What was that like for her? Seeing him walk through those doors? Taking her to lunch? Texting with her, talking with her for hours, sending inappropriate pictures to him while he’s tucked away in his tent?


He won’t talk to me, he never will. Sometimes I wish she had. But she didn’t. She lied as much as he did.

I wonder about that too. How she could lie. What was broken inside of her to lie for a lying cheating man that could only sneak around to see her or talk to her?

So here I am at the 7 year mark.

Quiet. Wondering. Curious. Not even mad.

It was a video about cheating husbands that sent me on this ride today. They were asking what excuse they gave for cheating. I went into a rabbit hole of watching reason after reason being given. Most were the same thing, “It was exciting” or blah blah blah…

But I couldn’t stop half grinning about the excuse I got. The reason, if you will, for why he cheated.

“I was possessed by her dead husband, I had no choice.”

He’s not that smart. I wonder sometimes if she gave him that stupid fucked up excuse for cheating. Hmm.

I think I would win what was seeming to be a contest on the stupidest reason given.

Anyway, enough of infidelity and cheating. I had to write it out of my head and walk away.

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Lord, I’ve been a bit stuck since Valentine’s Day.

I wrote that last blog about the work flowers and about 10 minutes after I hit publish, he and I got into a huge fight.

Two weeks went by and I did nothing. Nothing. I only got out of bed because I had to.

I literally knew that was it. This was the last time I will ever stand for the things that happened and the the things that were said in that fight. I felt it.

Everything in me shut down. Slammed shut.

I felt it, I knew it, now I just had to figure out the next step. Problem was, I couldn’t even seem to stand to take a next step. Whatever that would be.

I spent days just muttering, “I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. I’m done.”

Two weeks grew to three and I found some balls and talked to him.

That same day, I lit into the lawyer handling my dads estate. It was supposed to settle around the 5th of November! I’ve had it with her.

The talk with him was hours long. The longest we’ve spoken in years. I can’t do this anymore, I no longer want to. I told him. I laid out a plan. Nothing is healthy here with him and I can’t get out of my head.

During that talk though, he pointed out I have not been OK since my dads suicide. He was actually quite kind when he suggested maybe I go back to therapy.

Maybe. I’m recognizing the signs that depression is hanging around. I honestly, maybe, possibly, sort of, can see that it is probably a traumatic thing to see and have to clean up the aftermath of what he did. The guilt is so heavy too.

I wouldn’t mind emdr again for it. I just need to find a therapist now.

Maybe. It’s not easy to even think about starting over, again, with another therapist. It’s exhausting to even think about.

I can’t seem to get out of my head a little. Maybe it’s winter blues.

Maybe it’s realizing I wasted all these years with him.

Maybe I need to find out who I am without him.

Who am I?

My full blown Sagittarius rage at the lawyer worked. I got a court notice in the mail on Saturday that the estate settled and is closed.

I could literally feel some weight lift off. There’s still a lot ahead of me, but that was the first step.

Next step now. That’s if I can do it.

I’m a mess.

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****TW: suicide and cussing****


I may be a people pleaser, I guess. Maybe I’m too nice.

I couldn’t change that at this stage in my life if I tried.

I, for the most part, just let people say what they want and do what they want, because it’s easier to keep the peace.

So the title. Here we go.

My mothers family is southern baptist. My father was catholic, he had to go through quite the ordeal to take that path, I believe he was in his 30’s.

My grandparents, or my grandmother actually, was just a quiet, but strong in her faith and strong in her church, Methodist.

So that’s my experiences growing up. I would go to church with my moms family, and often came home a little scared. I honesty did not feel peace there.

But oh, when I would visit my Dad, I would go to mass with him.

There was something incredible about the ritual of a catholic mass. All of it, I loved it.

The foster parents I ended up with were also catholic, but they did not go to church.

So, with that, I did get the basic foundation of the Christian religion.

Then I met my husband. This man never went to church, was absolutely clueless, had no idea why he was buying Christmas presents and was quite confused when I explained what Easter actually was.

Fast forward to January 2017, and our entire family was baptized in our little 150 year old Lutheran church.

Where we went for a few years, until covid. Then during that time, the pastor retired and we have not been back.

Lutheran to me felt like a small version of the catholic mass. Our church was old, so much history, the sanctuary was peaceful, the enormous stained glass cast the most beautiful light. I loved the Sunday mornings there, the people, the ritual of communion, there really was peace there.

My oldest was the organist. So before he could drive, I would take him and sit in that quiet peace while he practiced on this ancient, giant pipe organ that sounded so incredible.

I found peace there, mainly because I was in my own head, but it’s not the spiritual path I follow.

Some may see that as hypocrisy, to be there and not follow it, but I do me, you do you. My lane, your lane. 

That’s another story, I guess.

Though it’s not what I follow, I respect it, I understand it, I think it gives an incredible foundation to just be a good human.

I’m not sure why I had to wander off in my own history of Christianity, but there it is.

I have found there are two things that will divide people and fights can erupt and separate families and friends.

Politics and religion.

But the people pleasing, people watching soul that I am, I try to leave those two out of any and all conversations I have.

Because the full blown fire element Sagittarius that I am will go to verbal battle with you if I’m judged for either.

I don’t judge you, I don’t care one bit what you believe in and how you vote. Don’t come at me. I’m not forcing mine on you, back off with yours.

So that little outburst brings me to what has me trying to figure out assholes in life.

My dad, catholic, took his own life.

Two months later, sitting in my living room, my husband decides to casually mention in all of his religious glory and knowledge, that my dad is in hell.

“Your dad is in hell.”

“No he isn’t.” As this actually goes against my own beliefs.

“Well, from what I understand, he is.”

I just looked at him. The physical reaction his words caused can’t be described.

I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t do anything, but just sit there blinking.

I was in a FB suicide group at the time. I was curious, I didn’t need anyone to pat me in the head and reassure me where my father was, but curious if anyone else had been told that.

So I posted “has anyone been told by a loved one that their family member is in hell”

Flood gate opened with comments. Over 1000 comments on that post that lasted for weeks. Overwhelming amount saying yes, someone has told them that.

So I sat with it for a while. I thought about it, I thought about my dad.

I thought about the young girl in our community that made that same choice.

Her choice rocked our little town. Her mom was well known. Her daughter was well known.

I could not imagine that sweet girl anywhere in the afterlife but somewhere good, somewhere peaceful.

Had anyone had the audacity to say those words to her mom?

So I finally confronted my husband. It took a few weeks, but it settled in me that saying that to me was really messed up.

I just couldn’t put my finger on the why. Why did it bother me?

He looked so confused at my hurt. He still doesn’t understand why that hurt.

I also, to be honest, didn’t understand the hurt. So strong am I in the “you believe what you believe, I believe what I do.”

So if that’s what he thinks about my dad, why am I bothered so much.

But I was. I still am.

I didn’t know until yesterday why. It’s so simple, I overthink everything.

Scrolling through TikTok yesterday, I came across this one.

Just in case it doesn’t play, here’s a screenshot of the subject being discussed.

It resonated with me. Bringing up, again, that my husband told me my dad is in hell.

I commented. Basically saying that my dad made that choice and people thought it was Ok to tell me he was in hell.

I got a few replies that yes, my dad is in fact, in hell.

Many commented that they don’t think so, they too had lost loved ones to this choice, they don’t believe it.

I wondered why I commented. It was not to seek sympathy, or validation that he’s not, it was simply a comment stating that someone I was supposed to love and trust, looked at me and told me that.

I read comments through the day, and they are still coming in this morning.

It hit me. It finally dawned on me why what he said to me was absolutely horrible.

Because there are two sides to suicide. The side of committing it and the side where your loved ones are now standing.

I had to clean up what was left of his choice. I was his daughter. No daughter should have to do that.

There was no note. I still struggle every single day with guilt. The why. The sheer amount of weight on my shoulders cannot be put into words.

The fact that everyday, I close my eyes and see a flash of what I had to clean up. The door I had to kick in swinging open. It’s the door, always the door kick. It works its way into everyday thoughts and nightmares at night. Every. Single. Day.

Every single day I picture him, I imagine those few seconds he went through before committing to his decision.

What could I have done to be there for him? The guilt is heavy.

The anger. Oh, the guilt of the anger too. The anger is heavy. It can be consuming at times.

So, here comes the Sagittarius in me… here’s what took me forever and a day to figure out why this bothered me…

Who in their right fucking mind thinks it’s alright on any level to say to someone standing on this side of suicide, “Hey! Yeah! Sorry about your loss!! Here’s some flowers! Oh by the way, just so you’re aware, he’s burning in hell!”

That is the definition of evil.

To even fathom saying that to someone! You are literally crushing someone who already has so much weight on them.

The fact that it took me this long to figure out why that sat so hard on me, is a bit mind blowing. I feel kind of stupid.

Also shows me that it’s because I could never, ever ever say that to someone.

I wouldn’t even think it!

I do not know where my father is. My husband does not know. Those strangers on the internet do not know.

Only my dad knows.

But I hope there is not a God out there that would punish someone who is so far mentally gone and desperate for peace with forever fiery purgatory.

Doesn’t make sense to me.

Don’t say that to someone on this side. We had nothing to do with their choice, we are just shouldering it and living with it.

Sorry. Just writing this out of my head.

In the end, if someone believes that, I cannot change their view and I don’t care to do so. I just strongly believe you should not give your opinion of where they are spending their afterlife to a person grieving the loss.

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His affair literally covered every holiday, except July 4th.

I think… hold on…

Yeah. It even covered 4 out of the 5 of our birthdays. Also our anniversary.

The kids’ birthdays don’t bother me as much, he’s always been good to them, but his birthday and mine were in the affair time.

They all hurt, but as each one approaches, I find myself thinking about it. What he did, how he acted. What he said.

Will this ever end? Will I literally approach each of these days with thoughts of the affair for the rest of my life? How do I change the narrative? The habit of ruminating? The triggers it brings?

It’s like I get up in the morning and I do the same thing. I wander into the kitchen. I turn on the coffee pot. I check cat food levels. I stand in the same spot at the sink window and look for whatever wildlife may be down by the creek.

It’s literally habit. I’m a creature of habit. I wouldn’t know how to change that if I tried.

It feels the same with holidays approaching.

Here comes Vday. I immediately start thinking. I immediately start picturing. My mind fixates on what happened. Or what I think happened.

I try to put the whole thing in a pile in the center of the room.

(I’m a visual meditator, bear with me here, because it’s a bit symbolic as I try to process this stupid ass ‘love’ holiday that he royally fucked up)

I take all that happened that day and put it in the center of a room. I take the years since and look at how I’ve acted, how he’s acted. I toss in the notebook, the one I was allowed to write him questions in.

The fact that he actually answered about Valentine’s Day in that book.

I throw in the cupcakes and the orchid he bought me.

I circle it. Staring at the pile of crap brought on by that day. I sit, I look.

What is it about this day in particular pisses me off so bad? Even more than Christmas. Even more than our anniversary.

What is it? What can I do to stop this every single year?

Break the habit, so to speak.

So I look at it all. I even toss in some screenshots of a text I had with her. Her lies, her deflection that she had been fucking him since September.

All of it.

I start removing each item from the pile. I look at it. I want to figure this out.

I toss the cupcakes to the side. The notebook. The orchid. The texts. The lies.

And then I get to her flowers.

It’s the flowers. Her flowers.

It’s her fucking flowers.

Just typing that out has me breathing hard and I can literally feel the pure anger and hatred washing over me.

He went to a local florist and had a bouquet of flowers sent to her fucking job.

The work delivered flowers. The flex flowers. The brag flowers. The show off in front of coworkers flowers.

It’s the work flowers.

It’s a brag on himself, it’s a show off for her, it’s shit.

It’s odd that this is what is getting me. That this dumb shit is the one that infuriates me.

I just want to choke him and shake the shit out of her. I want to know how she felt showing off her work delivered flowers sent to her from her married boyfriend.

Maybe it’s hurt. Grief. Maybe once the anger fades, that only seems to rear it’s head around this day, then maybe I can change, process, heal, whatever. I don’t know.

I hate this day. I hate him. I hate her. I hate that I feel any hate and anger at all.

This was not me before dday. This is not who I am.

It’s the work flowers. It’s the fucking work delivered flowers.

I have to figure this out because I also feel stupid being mad about it still. I don’t want to feel stupid anymore.

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Dna Dad & a Roach

It’s been 9 months or so since I found out about dna dad.

Oh, what a roller coaster it’s been. I’m still on it, but it’s more like a calm river ride instead. I’ve accepted it more and the shock has faded.

I still have not asked my mother. I’m not sure she can give me what I may ask of her over the phone. I almost feel like I need to be face to face with her if I chose to ask.

I don’t know what to do about him though.

I did message him on the site that we matched. But no reply and it may be because he does not check it. I know there have been years and years that go by and I haven’t signed in to my account.

One thing has been interesting though. I finally can see where I got some of my features.

I only ever saw my mom in me. Everytime I looked in the mirror, I saw her looking back.

But I also noticed differences. I have fine, thin wavy light colored hair. My mom and my dad had thick straight, almost black, full hair.

Though I looked like her, my eyes were unlike any of them. Moms and dads eyes, her parents, his, my sister, something never matched.

But I have dna dads eyes. The shape, the color.

I was also the only one in my family that would burn to a crisp in the sun. The rest would tan beautifully and laugh at my lobster red pain.

Turns out, I’m half Irish.

So little things like that have started to calmly be accepted by me.

But what do I do about him? I want absolutely nothing to do with him, I want nothing from him. I’m not mad at him, I feel nothing for him.

Or do I?

I think it’s for him to maybe know I exist. Should he know?

New brother sent me pictures of him. Also told me that he knew he existed, actually held him before going off to somewhere military related. Did he know I existed?

New bro said he gets a fruit basket at Christmas time now, (he also discovered dna dad through ancestry) but that’s it.

Dna dad also has a wife and other children. So I have other siblings out there.

I’m thinking just a letter. A letter with a screenshot of our match and a note of who my mother is.

Mail it, be done. I feel like if I have to know, he should know too.

I don’t know, what do you think?

It was easy to find his address. He lives an hour away from me.


Anyway, I’m just kind of writing this out because I can’t decide.

But it also looks like I will be heading south to have a talk with my mom.

Cue: overwhelming anxiety at the thought. Just when I thought I had closed that door with her, never to open it again, here we go.


On another note, in the infidelity world, and the horrible Valentine’s Day crap coming up… the Bronx Zoo will name a hissing cockroach after anyone you want and send them a certificate in email on Vday.

I mean, it’s for a good cause and tax deductible.

A twitter friend told me about the roaches. It looks like zoos everywhere are doing this.

Hilarious 😆

Another side note: if I have the balls to send the OW a certificate of a roach named after her, I do think I should also have the balls to let this man know he has another daughter.

Maybe. Roach seems easier.

Done talking to myself.

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It’s been a crazy year. I’m quiet and overly nostalgic tonight.

There was a painting that hung in my grandparents house my whole life. It stayed in the same spot above the couch for as long as I’ve walked the earth and I know it was there before I came along.

My grandparents bought the house fully furnished in the 40’s, I would bet money that painting was already hanging in the same spot it always hung.

To me, it’s the most beautiful painting I’ve ever seen. Ever.

There’s a woman in a stunning red dress sitting at a piano. She is looking at the music on the piano. You can only see how beautiful she is from her left side.

Her hands are resting gracefully on the keys. I’ve always loved her hands, they are so delicate looking.

Everything about this painting says ‘”peace” to me. It’s quiet, the colors are warm and inviting. There’s a ray of light coming from an ancient window to her right that creates an atmosphere that you feel you could reach out and touch.

You can almost hear her playing the music, you can feel the warmth around her.

She doesn’t look straight out at you from her seat in front of her piano, but there’s a sense that she’s aware, listening and just being close by.

As a child, I often slept on the couch when we came to visit. My parents got the second bedroom. When I was a teen, I often got the couch if my dad was visiting too.

As an adult, the couch had a pull out bed and I slept there, with my kids tucked away in the bed in the guest room.

I always felt safe under the painting, as if she was a comfortable blanket always close by watching and keeping an eye on things around me.

I created an entire world for her. I imagined how her morning went before she sat down to play. I am positive you could still smell coffee in the air around her, maybe even bread that had been cooking.

I’ve created so many stories for her, many just mirroring whatever was going on my life at the time of the visit.

That was my grandparents house though. Always smelled of coffee and breakfast and the mountains and peace and home and warmth and… home. It was home. It’s no wonder I created in my mind the same thing for her.

It was under that painting when I was around 15 that I listened to my grandparents talking with my Dad.

I had flown in early that morning and I was exhausted. The drive to this little Kentucky town from the airport was always the absolute longest drive ever.

I also had to ride in the backseat which always caused motion sickness. I would try to keep my gaze steady and would fix on my grandmothers hand.

She would always gasp and clutch ahold of my grandfathers leg, or arm, or elbow as he drove. If he didn’t brake when she thought he should or if someone cut us off. I would see the sun shine off her wedding rings as she grasped at him.

I loved her hands. Always gentle with beautiful nails and her modest rings. Gentle. She was so good to me.

I wear those rings now. On my right hand. The love in those rings always makes me smile. Sad too, sometimes, they had a wonderful love. Over 60 years together, their love was something I always wished for.

So that day we made it to the house from the airport and I dropped my bags in the guest room then came into the living room and simply melted into the couch under the painting.

My father was already there on this trip so I would be sleeping on the couch.

Feeling nauseous from the drive and the pure release of adrenaline from excitement of traveling, the flight, the drive. I closed my eyes and felt the couch pillow calling my name.

I laid with my eyes closed and listened to them move around the house. I heard them sit at the dining room table and I heard my grandmother bring them all a drink. From the scent in the air, it was coffee.

My grandmother asked if I was asleep. My father must’ve looked in and he said, “Yes. She’s out like a light.”

They spoke of weather and jobs and I was losing the battle of fighting off sleep.

But then my grandmother asked my dad, “Have you heard any more about him?” My dad was slow in answering, but he said in a low voice, “I have not and I won’t. He does not know who I am.”

She said, “What will you do if he reaches out?” My dad replied, “I will speak with him, but I know he won’t.”

My grandfather chimed in with, “Will you tell Chrissy?”

My dad answered, “No.”

I listened and felt my heart beat a little faster. What was that? Who are they talking about? Who is this ‘He’. They moved on in the conversation and I began to lose the battle. My last thought that late afternoon was “Do I have a brother?”

When I woke up, I looked at the painting. I wondered how many secrets she knew. How many things she has witnessed in this house.

It was the main reason I went for all those letters last year that were written between them over the years. I went for them and couldn’t wait to see what they would bring. It took me a few days to get through them all.

I have often thought of that conversation they didn’t know I heard.

I searched hard for any reference to the mystery “He” but I didn’t find anything at all.

Instead, the letters spoke of my sister not being his and they spoke of me not being his.

Causing me to order an ancestry kit the second I got back home.

I have worked on my family tree since 2010. It was extensive, long hours and a million pages scribbled in a notebook as I worked the two branches of my tree.

I could see on a little branch on my Dads side that someone had done the DNA. I knew if he was my biological father, I should in all reality, match with her.

But, as I’ve written before, he is not my father.

I did match with an unknown brother though. I figured out he was a brother on a Saturday.

I thought he was the mystery “He” until that Monday when I was able to talk with him.

My eyes just immediately went to where I had to grasp onto the kitchen counter when new brother informed me that no, he was not my fathers child, I was instead the child of his father.

The body sure does remember.

I wish I could put into words how the world seemed to just tilt and I couldn’t get my knees to hold me up, I couldn’t breathe and I went into denial at the same time knowing there could be none.

It’s been a crazy year since I first read those letters. 7 months since the ancestry result rocked my world.

As I write this, I’m sitting under the painting in my house. I can feel her up on the wall, behind me. She’s been with me my whole life. She’s been witness to so much.

I took her home with me that August. Has it only been a year and half? It feels like forever.

The clean up, the funeral. There was no way I was leaving that painting there. I wanted her out.

She went up on the wall, above my couch, as soon as I got home.

She still watches over. There’s still a comfort.

But there’s also a sadness too.

As if she’s not comfortable here. Like she’s a little lost. It’s as though she’s tired.

My father died under her sideways gaze. She’s just seen too much. She has heard too much.

This past year has been rocky and crazy, but one thing that came from it all is that it doesn’t seem to matter to me about the DNA.

At all.

They were my roots.

My sweet, loving, funny grandparents. They are my roots.

The mountains they called home.

My father. These will always be my roots.

The painting with the woman in red that watched me my whole life.

The scent of morning coffee and bacon.

That’s my roots.

Oh God, I just want to take the painting and put it in the backseat of my fathers car and drive her back home.

Throw out his couch and get one that looked like my grandmothers. I want to just lay down there, breathe, figure things out.

Let her watch over me from the spot on the wall over the couch where she always did. Where she always was.

I want to go home.

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New boots.

I just got a new pair of hiking boots.

I have to retire my old hiking boots.

I do have a tendency to get attached to things and it was hard to tuck them away into the back of my closet.

There wasn’t a single time that I didn’t grin while lacing them up and feeling excitement wash over me.

They took me so many places and we traveled uncountable miles together. They took me to the top of mountains and I’ve seen views there that are forever etched into my memories.

They took me through long train tunnels that were so dark in the middle I couldn’t see where I was stepping. They carried me through that fear.

I fell a few times here and there and I’ve stumbled going down or crossing water, but I always stood back up.

I’ve kicked them off and put them next to me while I’ve put my feet in a random little pond I’ve come across in the middle of nowhere.

I’ve tied them together and slung them over my shoulder to cross creeks and rivers so they don’t get too wet.

They have traveled many many miles on the Appalachian Trail and took me on the craziest 25 mile hike through the battlefields of Gettysburg.

It’s hard putting them away.

Almost all of those miles I put on those boots, I did alone.

Almost all of those miles I did alone since finding out about his affair.

It was one foot in front of the other, mile after mile, and the most healing journey I could’ve ever done.

I didn’t even realize what it was until I retired them to my closet.

But I can’t stop looking at the new ones. They have a bit of girly pink in them and the soles are thick, grippy, stiff and ready to go.

I can’t wait to see where I go with them.

I just know these will take me on completely new paths and trails and climbs.

Some I know, a little, but not like I know the ones around me. These paths will be through the Smoky Mountains, the southern Appalachian mountains, Blue Ridge.

I can’t wait to see where I’ll go now. I can’t wait to see new wildlife, plant life. I’m secretly hoping to see my first bear.

I’m so excited to see where they will take me.

But first, I gotta get the first 50 on them. 😊

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“You’ll never forgive me”

He has said this so many times over the years.

I’ve never felt a moment of time that I may have felt forgiveness for his choices.

I may have been able to respect his request of forgiveness if he had acknowledged just once what his choices caused those around him.

Maybe he doesn’t even owe us that. Me. Maybe he doesn’t even owe me that. To acknowledge what he caused.

But I just want him to own it. Maybe he doesn’t have to do anything, but that doesn’t change me from wanting him to.

I had surgery that year. During his affair. I had some things going on and surgery was the answer.

I remember I called him in late November and asked if he would be able to take me on December 10th. I was going under and would not be able to drive.

I remember he threw a fit. “Can it be any other day?! I have work!”

I said, no… that I’m pretty much on the doctors schedule, not his.

I was also so confused over his reaction.

That day came along and he didn’t speak to me the whole way. We got there, got past registration and he went back outside to the truck while I waited to go back.

Now I know it was to get his burner phone. Now I know why that particular day annoyed him, it was her birthday.

They took me back to prep and my doctor came in to walk me through what would happen. I remember her looking around and asking if anyone was with me. I said yes, my husband, he’s in the waiting room.

She stood up and walked away to get him. When they came back she carried on instructions he should have to take care of me after we got home. She asked if he would be around the hospital while I was in surgery, in case he was needed.

He said No. He said nothing else, just looked at her and said no.

My heart was breaking and I had no idea why. She said. “Will you be here to pick her up?” He asked about how long it would be. She said she estimated a few hours.

She took his number, she wrote it on her pants, they were scrubs, and she wrote it on her pants.

She left while a nurse came to do IV’s and finish up pre-op things. He sat in the cubicle thing with me looking at his phone while they worked.

When they came to wheel me back, I remember being so scared. I looked at him and said, “I love you.” I wanted a hug, kiss, something. Anything. He looked at me and held out his finger.

“Here’s a fingertip.”

I did. I touched his fingertip and off I went. I remember trying to swallow over this huge lump in my throat. I could not even wrap my head around how he was acting.

Now I know she was giving him some shit about being there with me. On her birthday.

Now I know he did leave the hospital, but says it was to visit his brother. Now I know he had the burner phone close so he could talk to her.

Now I know that she was furious at him that part of the surgery I was having included tying my tubes. She told him that it better not be an invitation to ‘be’ with me. “Just because she’s getting fixed doesn’t mean you can have sex with her.”

Now I know, but then, I didn’t.

It took over three hours. When I came out of it, he was there. He took me home, put me on the couch and took our oldest to a holiday school concert.

But I don’t think he stayed for the concert. I think he met up with her for her birthday.

Now, all these years later? It’s just one of the things I wish he would put to rest.

One of the things I wish he would maybe say “I’m sorry” about. When he tells me “You’ll never forgive me” he’s right. How can I even begin to feel that when he hasn’t acknowledged ONCE how fucked up that day was.

I guess I’m angry today. Triggery day and I’m just pissed.

I can picture my therapist at this point, calmly saying, “What exactly is it that you’re pissed about?”

Me, “I feel stupid.”

Yeah, that would be it. I feel stupid.

Do not forgive. Trying to get to a “do not care” but not quite there.

I know I can’t change that day, I’m just writing it out of my head.

It makes me wonder, as the months ahead are beginning to look different for me, will these triggery days always be around? I have no idea how to change it, to direct thoughts in another direction.

Don’t know.

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To be your friend.

To be your friend was always easy. Always easy till it wasn’t.

I saw you the other day. We passed each other at a turn not far from either of our houses. I was stopped and you made the right turn, passing by me on my left. You looked right at me.

Then I saw your eyes scan my daughter, who was next to me.

I also saw you at our local super store. I saw you by the books, you looked the same. My heart hurt. I turned my cart and went the opposite direction.

I wondered if you would show at the local fest. You know which one, and I did find myself looking for you. I wondered how it would go.

I do miss you. I think of you often and am often overwhelmed by the wave of sadness that washes over me.

It’s hard for me to make friends. It’s easy to strike up a conversation with anyone, but it’s not easy to make friends.

It’s mainly trust. For me to even accept a friend and be even a tiny bit vulnerable with someone is huge. I never put that on you, it’s more something that is internal with me. In the 14 years I called you the best friend I ever had on this planet, it was because I trusted you.

To this day I have to stop myself from calling you or texting you or tagging you in something that only you would understand. I told you often that you were the only one in my life I let my walls down with and I could be myself. You often told me the same. You seemed to accept me as I accepted you.

You never tried to change me and I never tried to change you. We were very different people but we were who we were with each other and I swear to you, in all my relationships from my husband to my family to other friends, you were the best and the perfect fit to my crazy self.

14 years, a thousand miles of hikes and bikes and walks. Gyms joined and fighting with neighbors that build walls. Talking for hours and hours. Weddings, graduations, parties, our children, their children, our pasts, canons and fireworks, green bonfires and drunk gummy bears. Wandering in the woods, ghosts, chickens and funny plants. Stolen ferns and haunted coffee, boats and lakes, random dinosaur eggs on a poison ivy covered island. Illegal swimming in clear water and snakes that have eyes. Buzzards and tiny deer and kids that have old souls. Wondering if she’s dead in the bathroom and enjoying steam rooms & hot tubs.

You were my friend.

You are missed and there are days I forget the end. The end that I still don’t understand. The end that I’m positive contains three sides. Yours, mine and the truth in the middle.

For me it was the first time you were mad at me for something and instead of talking to me, you pulled the silent treatment and shut me out. It was after a weight class, I noticed you icing me out and after class I smiled at you and said “hey!” You made eye contact with me and looked at the instructor near me and said. “Great class! I have to run tho, can’t stay and talk, I’m meeting a good friend for lunch! Byeee.”

And walked out.

I tried, but I couldn’t come back from that one. I tried. I had seen you do exactly that to others, but I was on the side of listening to you as you put them through it. So I knew you.

I knew you.

But I tried. I knew I had fucked up royally in your eyes, but you never told me what I did.

That same summer, as we tried to put the friendship back, you were looking for advice on remolding a room. The most expensive room a homeowner can remodel, and you were looking for advice.

From Facebook.

But this is what he does. 30 years, this is what he does. He’s got all the connections for this room, he knows where ripoffs come in.

It actually took me a while to figure out that maybe you thought I wanted him to be the one to do it for you. It took a while because it was never in my mind at all that he would do this job for your family.

It was only in my mind that you not get ripped off and what you should be asking your builder to do because this particular room being done is not easy on a family and you should never be inconvenienced during the makeover. I know that part because I’m the wife of a guy that’s been doing it for 30+ years.

He even tried get you in touch with his suppliers. Again, not because he wanted the job either, he absolutely did not, but because you were my friend and you should not be ripped off.

But that day at the pool when I mentioned one thing you should ask your builder before he starts, you sat up, snapped your fingers in my face and said, “I give my builder keys, that’s how much I trust them.

I said, “ok.” And I remember getting up and walking over to the pool. I had no idea what keys had to do with it and mine is always given keys too. It was weird.

One more time, after a class, you were bitching about costs. I mentioned again something I knew, this time you put your hand in my face to stop me speaking and said, “I know what I’m doing.”

So I never spoke about it with you again. Weirdly, it was that day on my way home that it crosses my mind that maybe you thought I wanted my husband to be doing your job. It was so far out there for me that I would never ever even be thinking he should.

You then posted on Facebook the progress of that job. I guess because I couldn’t stop thinking about that hand in my face, I never liked a single one. Immature of me, I know, but you really were incredibly rude.

I just didn’t want to hit that like button. You were getting nastier with me more and more and I started to realize maybe we were not the friends I thought we were.

I noticed anything I liked, or liked doing, you would put down. I noticed you talked about people on Facebook a lot. You would use the word “jealous” a lot. You would say seeing pictures of people traveling or doing things made you jealous.

You would tell me that the people looking at pictures of your life and your grandkids were jealous of you.

It was weird to me because I don’t ever feel that way. Ever. It doesn’t dawn on me to look at someone’s life and feel jealousy. I don’t post in hopes of making others feel that way.

But I just stayed quiet and let you feel however you wanted to feel.

So your job gets finished and I guess because my first comment on your Facebook about it wasn’t up to par for you, you decided to send me the most insane texts ever.

What you didn’t know was that I was nowhere near my phone that day. It was in another room charging and I honestly forgot about it. I was on another floor in a different room with my iPad. My iPad will receive iMessages, but not messages from an android.

I truly did not get your messages until later that evening.

It’s like madness overtook you the longer I didn’t answer.

I immediately answered you the moment I saw them. I told you everything was fine, I loved you, I loved your family, everything fine.

But that was the doormat in me talking. Everything wasn’t fine.

You then made your whole family block me and you blocked me out too.

Now I’m done. This is a friendship, I’m already exhausted over the state of my marriage, I’m done.

Then your husband passed. Damn. I truly loved him. He was hilarious and fun and always had a bright blue eyed smile for everyone. He was such a good human.

But I didn’t know. You made everyone block me! I had NO IDEA.

But you bitched to a mutual friend that I wasn’t there for you. But I’m not sure how I could’ve been since you made everyone who knew block me.

That’s your MO too. Every time you fight with someone, you make your family block them. Your brother then goes on to torture them. It sucks that you do that. No, I’m not jealous, lol… I think it’s gross.

Then last Christmas, our families passed each other. I saw you. I was really sad for you and your family. The first season without him had to be hard on all of you and my heart broke when I saw you. You passed and kept going. I turned to look back at you, I was trying to figure out how to say hi, and I saw you whisper in your sons girlfriends ear and then you turned back to us, pointed at us, your head went back and you laughed this fake, loud, obnoxious laugh.

I turned and walked on.

You were my only real life friend I told about this blog. I don’t know if you’ll read it, I guess I don’t really care either way.

Or do I?

I will never know what caused that initial act of nastiness that first time after the weight class. But what I do know is that for me, it was hard to come back from. I tried.

I guess I needed to acknowledge this friendship and it’s end. For me, there was pain and heartache with its ending. Confusion. Anger.

I don’t think you should have to fight so hard for friendship, or love, or value.

I never felt like you owed me anything, I gave freely.

But I think you felt I owed you, and I don’t know what to do with that.

I saw you the other day when we passed each other at the stop sign. I was surprised at how sad I felt.

It’s like I have to pull up the end, the bad parts, so I can breathe again. So I can hold my head up and keep going forward. I have to pull up the bad so the sad isn’t so big.

I have to say that again… it’s interesting… I have to pull up the bad so the sad isn’t so big.

I wish it ended differently.




I did this blog this way, to write it out and if you read it? Then that means you looked for it. I won’t send it to you, that would be like knocking on your door uninvited. I won’t do that.




You were a good friend and I truly wish nothing but the best for you.



But don’t laugh at me in the Christmas tree park this year. Not cool.

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