Sunday, September 21, 2014

Foggy Places and Rainy Days

I have vivid memories of a particularly dense fog that loomed over the Salt Lake Valley sometime during 1985.

The fog seemed the most thick while walking to school in the early morning hours. I had to walk to school with my younger sister Rebecca. Our school at that time was a mile away from home.

Rebecca was scared and walked very slow. I was annoyed and frustrated at first. The next day I realized that her fear was very real to her and she wasn't just making it up to bother me.

She was terrified that her field of vision was so limited. Rebecca was afraid that something truly dangerous was lurking in the fog and it was coming out to get her.

When it rained she was noticeably happier and energetic. When the fog again returned it felt almost as though the fog had also settled inside Rebecca and not just around her.

The fog was so persistent that eventually Rebecca became acclimated to it and it seemed to no longer affect her so severely. She was different though.

It wasn't long after that time that a different hazard surrounded Rebecca; now she was in a difficult and more brutal long-term fog. She would have to fight for her life for many years. 

Sometimes she was leery and cautious of the figurative impact of the dirt in the air around her, "the fog"; other times she was willfully oblivious of it. 

I am now speaking of the negative influence of filthy neighborhood kids, other bad influences, curiosity, molestation, and eventually drugs and alcohol.

The grotesque fog that settled on Rebecca lingered for the next twenty years. For many of those years I was frustrated with her, not fully understanding the dangers that had crept into her life from that same nasty foggy mess that seemed to constantly be her around.

Then I understood the fears, her reactions, and the way she handled the traumas in her life. It was all very warranted, very real, very scary, and her various responses were just as unique as she was.

I loved her, I had many great times and created fantastic memories with her. I also have hated her and not wanted to be around her.

I have laughed with her, I have cried with her, I have learned from her, and I have admired her. I have prayed for her, I have picked her up when she was down. I have been down and been buoyed up by her energy and creativity many times.

I miss sleepovers, late night Phase 10 tournaments, licorice-straws in soda, and cutting out pictures of our favorite famous people from magazines. I desperately miss sharing music and making up songs at the piano together.

I hate the fog that is created by others. It scares me now. It makes me feel more vulnerable than I want to feel. The only way I've been able to navigate it emotionally, has been to pray fervently and to constantly seek out good things.

I believe in a Supreme Being, a Father in Heaven, and I believe that this Being can indeed literally pull the fog out of us, if we let him. Trusting and submitting to the Supreme is like experiencing a good rain; clearing up bad air.

Fog, otherwise known as the darkness created by poor choices by us and others must be allowed to exist, so long as there is agency. The power to choose is ours and those choices certainly can affect others around us.

But this filth that gets kicked up and carried around in the air does not have to exist inside of me if I don't permit it to. I have that choice.

Rebecca made such amazing and tremendous improvements the last several years; especially 2012 until her passing this last May. 

At age 35, Rebecca suddenly passed away. Her body had been through enough and it had rejected the medications used to help her function... her body just simply stopped working. 

Her death was a merciful thing, I think. Rather than living in extreme pain and somehow making it through, she is now free from her pains. 

Her passing came at a high point in her life. What better time to go, right? Her fog has certainly lifted.

I can't help but feel happy for her. Though I miss her, I also feel that she is truly at peace. She deserves that. 

In some way, I sort of feel like she is the one now that is leading me  safely through the fog that comes and goes throughout life. 

I believe that she has joined a team of cheerleaders that surround me. They keep me from allowing any particular dirtiness from creating a fog that's too dense for me to navigate through.

I admire the vantage point and understanding that the dead must have on the living. 

I believe that when it is my turn to return to my Father in Heaven that created me, that I will be greeted by my cheerleaders; Rebecca, certainly first among them... knowing her, she wouldn't permit it any other way.

Writing this feels really good. It has been a healing reflection.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Seeing Blind People

Maybe if I ride this persons bumper they will speed up or better yet, maybe they will move?

If I cut around this car then I won't have to slow down too... Why are they slowing down?

I can't believe he/she doesn't think that it's not noticeable that they're texting while driving.

Have you ever thought these things?

This summer my son and I were in a car accident and my vehicle was totaled. No injuries, by miracle, but car absolutely gone. Since that time I have seen a flurry of horrible driving. Admittedly, I am a bit afraid to be out on the roads.

I am driving defensively, following all traffic rules and no cutting corners. I've never been in an accident like this before. Sure I've been rear-ended (light tap really), but that's it. 

Yesterday while driving, there was a lady riding my bumper and getting upset that I wasn't driving the way she wanted me to. I could see her upset in the rear-view mirror. 

Without logic or reason I could see her speed up, trying to force me to drive faster. This made me mad because in short order I was going to have to slow down even more to make a right hand turn. 

I pointed in the mirror to her and gestured that she should go around me; seeing as how that lane was absolutely clear! Huffing and puffing she did so and went speeding away.

The next day while attempting to turn right, I yielded to pedestrians as was appropriate to the situation, when behind me some impatient soul illegally zipped around me creating their own two-lane right turn area and he nearly hit the wheelchair pedestrian and a child. I honked for all it was worth to stop the situation. All made it safely out of that situation and the other car found a way to speed off without incident. How? I do not know.

It has been like this all summer. Horrible driving, terrible impatience and people just not being aware. I feel like I am surrounded by people that are physically able to see but mentally blind to the actual surroundings.

My life, my sons, the guy in the wheelchair and the little kids life are not worth your text, your impatience, or you illogical need to dominate the road. 

Slow down. Pay attention. Don't create your own rules on the road. 
Please, do not be a seeing blind person.