These are fearsome times, there is just no getting away from it. The world scene changes minute to minute, second to second. Political upheaval, assassinations, earthquakes in one place after another, deadly plagues and so much death and suffering. It could seem hopeless if a person did not know that there is a God who will soon end the anguish.
I was that person. I knew he was there, I just did not acknowledge him. I did my level best to do everything he condemns, and I was succeeding. That is real fear, knowing you are disobeying the Supreme Ruler, and that soon you will have to make an accounting. But if I did enough cocaine, drank enough Budweiser chased by some Jack with a few pills thrown in (for good measure) I could blow God off for one more day. One more miserable, painful, agonized day. Because, for me, the dope wore off way too quickly. Then in the crushing weight of dawn my pitiable condition was visible even to me, let alone the world.
I saw the fear in these eyes, the self-loathing, the hate. I lashed out at every single person I came in contact with, and I was violent. How violent can a biker chick be? You might ask the dude I beat so bad he crawled under a car to escape. I can still see his face, and it makes me sick, to know how venomous I was. My husband was worse than me, and the two of us joined with groups who were just like us.
Come to think of it, when I watch the news I often see rage and hate filled faces just like mine used to look. But were we meant to look so ugly? Sound so angry? Feel so much hate?
I wonder what the faces of the people who nailed Jesus to a stake looked like. Do you think they looked filled with rage and anger when they yelled at the top of their lungs to Pontius Pilate to execute him?
“To the stake with him!”
The life I was living, the way I felt, the hatred for my fellow man, would I have been in that murderous crowd? Would Jesus have looked on me as I called for him to be killed, the spotless Son of God? The Messiah who God sent to give his life blood as a ransom to pay for all my sins?
I don’t have to wonder. I know God and his only-begotten Son saw my hateful face, every single day I have been on this earth. All 58 years. But the face they see today holds love in her eyes, a light that only began to shine when I turned around, repented, took in accurate knowledge of God’s will and made public declaration that I will serve Him forever.
Oh, what great relief. What a lifting off of weight from my shoulders, stooped shoulders that had carried the burden of hatred and sin for many sad years. Was it hard to change? Yes, in a physical way, it hurt to quit using and drinking-but that pain was brief, and the reward is the best high ever. I thought I would crave the coke, the cigarettes, the drink, forever. But that is not the case. Thru prayer and study of the Bible my compulsions have been lifted, and while I still sin every day I know God will forgive me when I ask and stop whatever I am doing.
The amazing thing is that now that I have learned to love, I have such great love for my heavenly Father that I don’t want to hurt him, ever. I didn’t know my actions actually hurt him, but then I never bothered to learn about the Sovereign of the Universe before. He is Love. He is love.
So, now I am still funny looking, but God’s love makes me beautiful. And this love makes you beautiful to me! I hope some small word of this touches your heart. I hope to see you when this earth is a beautiful place full of humans who love God.
I am filled with gratitude today. Living on a very spiritual plane these last few days, glorying in the the knowledge of my God’s immeasurable love for mankind-for me! This time of year those who worship my God are meditating on the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
On Nisan 14, 33CE on the Hebrew calendar, Jesus was nailed to a stake and executed as a criminal. He died so that those who worship his father can have an opportunity to be reconciled to God, have a chance to live forever in perfect health on a healed Earth, and a chance to be with all those who will be resurrected. Like my Mom and Dad.
My Mom died on this day, 11 years ago. It was also the same date as her birth, 3/21/36. Extraordinary, just like her. The comfort I have recieved-knowing that she no longer suffers, but is sleeping and in God’s memory, has been crucial to me. Sure, I grieve, every day she comes to mind in a hundred different moments, bittersweet. Knowing I can be with her, my best friend, again is such a marvelous gift, and Jesus sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection makes this possible! How can my heart not rejoice ?
The Memorial of Jesus Death will be held at sundown on March 27, 2021. This date corresponds to Nisan 14 on the Hebrew Calendar, the Anniversary of Jesus death. In the Bible at Luke 22:19 Jesus told his followers, “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” As his follower today I do the same and meditated on the wonderful blessings his sacrifice has afforded me. The best one is to have a clean conscience before my God, after a lifetime of flaunting his instruction and leading such a degraded life. I am SO grateful to be loved by my Real Father, one who will always be beside me, as long as I walk with Him. And to love Him in return, a love I had never known I had in me. Such a full heart I have today.
You can go to JW.org to find out how to join me and millions of others worldwide on March 27, 2021, to remember the greatest act of love ever performed: The ransom sacrifice of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ.
What do I say to a black mother whose son was murdered at the hands, or knee, of a white man?
. I saw George dying, in front of all the world, murdered. Every fiber of my being cried out for action to save him, knock that cop off of him, hurt those who were hurting him, scream “STOP!!!!!” at the loudest volume my wind and stretching vocal cords could scream. I saw him die. I could see the actual moment the life left him, we all could. His killer’s arrogance galled me, I cried as if George was my own. Those awful, endless minutes are now emblazoned on my conscience, and the world’s. But George’s suffering was finally over, the pain had ended for him. His family’s pain goes on.
. My daddy died unjustly, and it took years for my anger and pain to subside. But, then, I am white. And it wasn’t a police organization, or even a police man who killed him. For me it was a hospital, who killed him just as surely as if they kneeled on his neck. And he was a Sicilian man, very dark complected, 1st generation borne of immigrants to this country, but I suppose he will be considered a “white” man by history.
. But the pain I felt is the same pain George’s loved one’s feel in this sense: there was death, it was not natural, there was injustice, and there is anger. I feel it now, these years later. I was righteously indignant, I loved my daddy more than any girl ever loved her daddy, ever in the whole world. Whole universe I thought. I never saw his flaws, he was a hero to me, and they murdered him, and someone had to pay. I had to make it right , for him. For his memory.
. They hated me at that hospital, I believed. They had been out to get him, because we were poor, and because everyone knows doctors and hospitals only want one thing, right? Money. And we all know that there are very baaaad people in the medical field, there is a long, very, very long history of distrust in the Sicilian immigrant community against the “establishment”. It carried down from tyranny and mafioso, in the “home” country, where my ancestors were murdered and enslaved and oppressed by terrible injustice. Not only was the regime murderous and corrupt, even the local officials were, requiring payoffs and inflicting gross injustice and physical pain on the poor people who were supposed to be under their care. They had no choice, starve, be murdered, or board ships of misery with their last pennies to try living in a beckoning land across the great sea.
. My granparents had experienced the ghettos in New York when they arrived, cramped, dirty, unlit, no facilities, living in dark, dank, freezing, stinking tenant housing in their new country. Now, instead of their tropical isle, where they knew the enemy, there were new enemies to contend with. Such hatred, such predjudice, such injustice, such poverty. All these conditions shaped the mentality of generations, the distrust of the “system”, the lack of eqaulity, the oppression…
. My father was an angry man. For as far back as I have memory, he was mad at what he perceived as injustice in government. In another age pehaps he would have been a radical, I dont know. But he worked so hard, all his life, had access to more education than his parents ever had, served in the military and was able to move to Florida in his early 50’s. which had been his lifelong dream. He never stopped working, even then, and I had everything I needed as his kid, except love. But I adored and idolized him, to my mother’s dismay. When I became his sole caregiver, he was my child, and I determined to never let anything bad happen to him. For all the grief I had put him through in my life as an addict, now that I was sober I would appease his every whim, and ease his Dementia and Alzheimer’s. He was my reason for being, for except for my dear shih-tzu’s I had lost everyone in my family, and had no children.
. I was a she-bear when it came to his care. Endless research, talking to pro’s and others on caring for the elderly. But no matter what I promised him, no matter how good I cared for him, and no matter how totally committed I was in my devotion, I was not able to save him from being killed.
. So, then. What can I say to the millions of traumatized, oppressed, angry people who are fighting right now? They will do what they believe they must, to find relief for their anger. But to the loved ones of a man who died unjustly, there is something I can say, even in my proverbial “whiteness”: I am so, so sad for you. I can relate. I can relate to the sickening feeling in your gut, that horrendous hot ball of lead where your heart used to be. I remember the anger, the absolute bursting feeling of helplessness, the burning knowledge that this should never have happened to your child, your son, your daddy, your husband, your brother, your uncle, your nephew, your cousin, your dear, dear friend. Your Beloved.
. My pain was real… Your’s is all too real right now. I will never question your pain, or think I know what you should feel, or do. I never want to exaccerbate your suffering. everyone grieves in a different way, for different lengths of time, for different reasons. there is never a right or wrong way to grieve. I wish you peace, someday…healing…a lessening of this great burden you carry.
. My anger was only relieved by my learning the true reason for death, suffering and in justice. Knowing and believing in the the knowledge that God will soon do away with the true source of the evils we experience as humans. the tormenter of us down thru the ages, all the way back to the garden of Eden. The father of the lie, Satan.
God had an answer to Satan’s lie right there on the spot: Jesus Christ, God’s Only-Begotten Son and The King of God’s Kingdom would crush Satan and throw him and all his cohorts into the Abyss!! It will happen very soon, when God says it is time! Then the words of Revelation will come true!
Revelation 21:3-5 reads:
. ” With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them , and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them.(4)And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
(5) And the One seated on the throne said:”Look! I am making all things new.” Also he says:”Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
. Such beautiful words…a beautiful dream, perhaps? No. A promised reality from our God who cannot lie, whose purposes always succeed, and whose prophecies always come true. I have a favorite scripture about the surety of all God’s promises coming true, maybe because I am a farmer at heart, who has always loved the rain.
. This is in the Bible book of Isaiah, in Chapter 55, beginning in verse 8: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways,” declares Jehovah. (9) “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (10) For just as the rain and snow pour down from heaven And do not return there until they saturate the earth, making it produce and sprout, Giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,(11) So my word that goes out of my mouth will prove to be. It will not return to me without results, But it will certainly accomplish whatever is my delight, and it will have sure success in what I send it to do.”
. Yes, The Creator of the entire Universe has everything taken care of, he has told us that he will be the only Judge, and His Son will carry out his Judgement. The Ride of the Four Horsemen is already well underway. One day soon our dead loved ones will be resurrected and what joy there will be, when this earth is finally free of evil and we will live forever in peace.
. Please take the time to learn what the Bible says, I want you to have the peace of mind and heart that I finally found. It is not too late, my friend.
Is anyone out there as old as I am? I grew up to the Mary Tyler Moore show, on every week as I recall. When I was 10 or so, she was beautiful to me, not just as a pretty woman (which she was and is, if she is still alive, is she?…)but as a woman in “the workplace”. I was too young to understand the dynamics of discrimination against women, I was buying into the whole “be a good girl, speak when you are spoken to” misogynist mantra.
Flamingo Billiards Tour at Amy’s Billiards (pictured) The Year Before Fall
Day Old Cleopatra
Mommy and Izzy, in Alabama
my sweet, one eyed pup
That is where the slogan “We’re going to make it after all” first made me feel warm and fuzzy. My folks both worked long, hard hours to feed my brother and I. We saw them briefly each morning. Mom on her way to bed after all night at a local “old folks” hospital, and Dad on his way to the Speciality Steel Mill. The only thing “special” about the steel mill that I could see was the fact that Dad was “‘specially”angry when he got home.
aren’t i the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?
KODAK Digital Still Camera
Dad and his Fan Club!
In God’s Memory
Baby Cleo, who had to learn to live with one eye!
inside the circle of my heart
baby cleo, in her new dress!
. We didn’t want for anything that I ever knew, except that I never got designer jeans like my best friend, with the rich dad. No, my belly was full, and I was as happy as a chubby pre-teen with thick glasses and a mouth full of braces could be in the late 70’s. The only thing lacking was joy, any kind of joy, at home. Even “The Holidays”, when I still celebrated them, were joyless, because there was always disappointment lurking under the tree. Family gatherings were nice before I got old enough to feel the undercurrents of dislike and tension that flowed thru the affairs, like the lambrusco in the fancy glasses.
. We are going to make it. After all.
He Love Us!
sunset in paradise
African Lily, one of my favorites!
“i’m not sure how my feet work yet…”
. I’m in the ” after all” phase of life now. And I have made it, thus far . All the family drama is distant history, now that my parents are dead they don’t fight as much.(chuckle). I have learned to live without them here, and I have gleefully learned to live without my abusive ex and now deceased husband. (No, I’m not gleeful at his being deceased.)
. I have lived on my own for 4 years now, Dad died on 3/7/16, and Mom on 3/21/10. The grief did not stab me like a bayonet to the stomach this year, no, it was a dull, ongoing ache that I thought I didn’t feel, until this very moment. A heaviness inside my heart, a gray, damp blanket on my view. But I have made it, after all…
My Izzy, 2005-2017
This is me now, the pain has mellowed, I see love ahead!
“The Sentinel’s Prayer”, acrylic on canvas, Susan T. Martin2017
. I want to share happy tidings, tho’, not the fear mongering that is flying all around the internet and all the airwaves. Yes, this Pandemic is a very, very bad thing. Many of our loved ones, friends and neighbors will get very sick, and many will die. More people will die than usually do in a “regular” time period. It will be very difficult to work, to shop, to meet with friends and family. However, we must endure these difficulties with a hopeful demeanor, and share our hope with Everyone we can!!! We All need to support our fellow humans, and we CAN!!!!!
You may ask why, and I understand how hard it is not to have a pity party when one has no access to TP or Oreos. I am not immune to this situation, especially the Oreo thing. But as a person who has lived with chronic intractable pain all over my body for the last 20years, I do have experience with the power of positivity shared. This will be a HUGE HELP TO ALL OF US: BE UPBEAT AND POSITIVE WHEN SPEAKING TO OTHERS! DO NOT BOG OTHERS DOWN BY SHARING NEGATIVITY SUCH AS WHAT WE CAN’T DO, BUT FOCUS ON STEPS WE CAN TAKE.
One thing we must do to help is STAY POSITIVE when we talk to others. Just as you would not talk to a Child about negative outcomes of a storm, we all, ALL need comfort from our fellow humans right now. Just as we would not want our Mom to be overly anxious about a situation, think of your friends and neighbors who are anxious also!
. We want to help the people we love, and hopefully we want to help our fellow man who we don’t even know. I am going to work on this, and I already know it helps, because people who cared for me when I was incapacitated did it for me. And I made it thru to better days.
. I hope you are doing well, that you can see the sky today, wherever you are. One thing that helps me so much is prayer because I know God is close to me when I pray to him in his Son, Jesus name. Reading the Bible books of Psalms and brings me peace, and talking on the phone to others about God’s promises soon to be fulfilled. If I can just smile at someone, it lifts my mood and hopefully theirs as well. I send out my warm hugs and smiles to all of you.
for all the things I forgot to tell you when you were here
for being so impatient with you
for wanting you to go to bed so I could have some time alone
That was written not long after my Dad died. It seems to be that no matter how you try to care for your terminally ill , so that every single want, need, wish and prayer are covered, there will be regrets.
There will be “what-if’s” , “why-not’s” , “why-didn’t-I’s” galore. So, in a note to my past self I say, “It’s OK Susie. You did your absolute best. YOUR ABSOLUTE BEST. No regrets, just love. Love for you, Susie. They are gone, they do not hurt anymore. They don’t remember the time you stole a dollar out of their coat to buy a coke. Memories like these are for people who did not love, Susie. You loved. YOU loved. YOU LOVED. And you are still loving them today. That’s good, to be loving them still, to feel that empty space in your heart for them, still. That is real and it’s grief, and it has no timetable. But guilt? SUSIE, GUILT IS NOT A LIVING THING. IT’S A THING THAT BRINGS DESTRUCTION WITH IT. LOSS OF HOPE. PAIN. SO MUCH PAIN. PUT DOWN THAT GUILT YOU HAVE AIMED AT YOURSELF. JUST DROP IT… That’s a good girl…put it down. Give it here, give it to me, let’s take those awful bullets out…that’s a good girl, Susie… Come here, Child…Yes , I know you still Hurt, yes I know…it’s OK to cry…I will comfort you till you can carry yourself again…Just leave all that self hate and guilt lie, I will throw it away for you. Yes, shhhhhh…I know you miss them, that’s alright, love…”
But missing them won’t kill you. Guilt will.
And somehow, by writing that, and feeling it, and seeing it on the page, I feel relief. I am grateful to my God, at this very moment. Goodnight.
I get to this point, late at night, when my eyes burn from staring at my tiny detailed artwork. And this is the time I want to stop and write to you my musings on the day. So, here I am, bleary eyed and hurting, attempting to communicate something meaningful from my storehouse of wisdom….Perhaps this is why my entries are all centered on pain! If I read something I wrote a year ago, it all sounds like the same Song, the same endless litany .
That is no way to treat you, is it? Your time is valuable, as is mine. What burns in me is this need for a primordial scream of anguish, a voice from my depths against this physical ball and chain. I dream of jumping up and running away, fast enough and far enough to leave my physical being behind. Oh, Dear God, please hear me beg for a way to endure…I know that my faith and prayers are heard and known by you, and that You continue to uplift and sooth my troubled mind…
I don’t want to wish for the pain to end, because the only thing that ends it is blissful death, or the oblivion of street drugs. Both things that would destroy my relationship with you, my Father…So All I ask is to endure, to know that one day pain and death will be gone forever.
I know I cling to sanity by a tendril…You, my God, keep that tendril from snapping. Thank You. thank you. thank you.
I am happy to say, I was able to get back into my blogs here at WordPress, after a lengthy absence. I was unable to remember my sign in information for the longest time, but finally I was able to get back here!!! My sister blog, Out of the Gutter Art, has been languishing also, even tho’ I have been furiously creating beautiful “Outsider” Art this whole time.
I have had many upheavals ans bumps in the road as far as my emotional well being is concerned, but with the help of God, the Ultimate Therapist, and my human therapist (who is stellar!) I have come through victorious! The triggers were many, as this is the month my Parents died, and it also houses both mine and my Mom’s birthdays. I am a JW now, so I don’t celebrate my birthday, but it still holds significance in my heart, a marking of the passage of this fragile life.
Now my associations to birthdays is a very negative one, as my Mom died on her birthday, March 21, which also heralds the first day of Spring. Also my Dad was well into the dying process at home with only me there beside him on my birthday 2 years ago. That was a horrible, horrible time, as he suffered much. In the days that seemed to drag on forever, I remember at one point whispering to him “please don’t die on my birthday Daddy…” This sounds to me now like a rather heartless and self centered request, but he understood my trauma, I believe, even in the midst of his own, and did not. Rather, he fought his last fight during the wee hours of the next morning, finally succumbing at 6:15 the next morning. What a long, dark night that was.
I am finally not grieving the devastating sword thru my middle grief this year, but I anticipated the day with much apprehension and mental nail biting, as well as obsessive compulsive behavior, manic activity and lack of sleep. I am still feeling the effects, and most likely will have them build to a crescendo as March 21st approaches. Mom died in a less dramatic, but equally disturbing way, having to be taken to Hospice House rather than dying at home as she so desired, surrounded by her kitties. I have imprinted on my brain her sitting in her bed like a deflated teddy bear, whose sad eyes cut right thru me as she said, “Susie, I’m not ready…” However the cancer was by this point ravaging her brain, and I could not physically care for her at home.
I had a fourteen day vigil beside her bed, singing, praying , reading the Bible to her and holding her hand. Finally at the point of total exhaustion and grief, I fell asleep beside her, and as I dreamed of happier times, she breathed her last. Ours was a bond stronger than death, and I so eagerly anticipate the day when they are both called out of the memorial tombs in the grand resurrection , when I will run into their arms again.
This hope is made even more sure this month as millions of humans around the globe, and me fulfill our obligation to mark the Memorial of Jesus Christ’ death, just as he commanded us to do at the last supper. On this occasion, just hours before his death, be broke bread an drank wine with his apostles, saying, “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”
I praise Jehovah above for the undeserved kindness He has shown by providing the life of His perfect Son as a ransom for the sins of all mankind. By this loving act, every human on earth has the chance for living forever, without sickness, mourning, pain or death on a beautifully restored Earth. I raise my hands and my voice in praise to God, and thank him for his Son, My King and Savior, Jesus Christ!
You can join the Witnesses all around the earth at sundown on March 31st , 2018 as we join in remembering the Greatest Gift Ever given. You can ask any of Jehovah’s Witnesses for an invitation, or directions, or any other questions you may have and they will joyfully tell you. Also, the website jw.org will tell you what you need to know!
So, despite all my challenges, and mental health issues, I can take comfort that one day soon I will be reunited with all my loved ones. I also am so grateful to God for forgiving my multitude of sins by way of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I hope someone else out there