Carol Lee

…Gentle one, so broken-hearted, tenderly I kiss your…cheek…

Gentle One, so broken-hearted, tenderly I kiss your chemo-roughened cheek

Moving us toward unknown tomorrows, on rivers of. words we will not speak.

Tears trace down well-worn trails; heart bleeds in a blue, familiar way.

We read Memories journal of us enwrapped, entwined, entangled as we lay.

Your memory dwells in a plastic framed photo; recalling embraces that comfort and soothe.

This sweet swelling of daughter’s sorrow: white-hot knot of longing never moves.

Your kept my demons far at bay, my sickness hidden from the others.

Bestowed gifts I cannot repay…Such love only comes from Mothers.

©SusanTMartin2010

A Glorious Day to Remember!

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.

(this Memorial is virtual as a safety precaution)

THE PAIN of it ALL

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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.

 Dad and Kiko
Another Day in Paradise

.   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.

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Always a Dapper Dad

.    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.Artwork and Pictures 056

.  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.

I’m Sorry

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.

sunset in paradise

the greasy fast-food-wrapper of death

…he was the one man I adored, a happy glance…would gave made my life perfect…

It took soul-searching, or rather “skinning” myself to get down to the layers of pain in my hard heart. I think I finally peeled off all the bandages that I had wrapped around the wound in my heart, and I came to the thorn…the nugget of truth about what was hurting so bad.

I am still grieving for my Dad who died three years ago on March 7, 2016. I have been doing God’s Job, judging him by my flawed human standards, and thinking I will never see him again. My heart has just been rent in two, He was like my child in the Dementia/Alzheimer’s years. Before that, he was the one man I adored, a happy glance and kind word would have made my life perfect, but he wasn’t that guy much. He was an angry, selfish and hateful man to nearly everyone in his immediate family (including me, most of the time), but once in a while the Sun broke thru. Oh, and when it did we all basked in it’s glow.

He was like the smartest man in the world to me, and as a small child it was Dad who sparked my love of nature, especially birds. He could tweet as sweetly as the cutest songbird, and when he was funny and joking around all of us would roll with laughter, even Mum. He took my brother and I sled riding, and out for ice cream. He came to my basketball games and cheered me on, and saw me hit home runs in softball, and he puffed up with pride. In my memory he had a charismatic glow, and he would reel people in with his magnetism, and dark Sicilian good looks. In other words, he was my hero. At least during my youngest years.

I idolized him, and devoted my life to the impossible task of pleasing him.

( I am coming back to this post after a couple weeks away, been battling some serious physical ailments that have culminated with steroids and antibiotics and bedrest.)

While re-reading this I am struck be how this love/idolize/hate/regret thing has just repeated itself infinitely in my conscious life. As I come closer to letting go of this horrible baggage, I see this thing, this greasy fast-food wrapper of death languidly twirling in the wind, it’s grey, spindly arms trying to latch onto me again.

I DO NOT HAVE TO CARRY THIS ANYMORE.

I DO NOT HAVE TO GRIEVE ANYMORE.

I DO NOT HAVE TO FEEL ANY GUILT ANYMORE, FOR JESUS CHRIST’S RANSOM COVERED MY SIN’S AND CONTINUES TO.

JESUS’ RANSOM COVERED DAD’S SINS TOO.

I DO NOT HAVE TO FORGET DAD, BUT I AM ALLOWED TO, AT LEAST UNTIL IT DOES NOT HURT SO BAD…NO ONE CAN SEE INSIDE MY HEART EXCEPT GOD. JEHOVAH.

so quickly the dark tries to rush in, the way a black tide sneaks up the white beach at night, as you lie with your cheek to the sand… see? this time it came to there, the next time up to there, ah, now it’s tickling your finger…oh! now its falling away….but wait..wait,,,wait for, wait for it….here it comes and UP! we leap and run for our lives!!!!

In Happier times!

Oh Happy Day!

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.

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“The Sentinel’s Prayer”, acrylic on canvas, Susan T. Martin2017

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.Picture 012

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.

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here I am after Mom had died, well into my Dad’s last years of Severe Dementia and Alzheimer’s. I was his, and Mom’s sole caregiver.

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!Picture 018

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

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can find this comfort also!!!

I Am Blown Away…

So much suffering in this world, that anything I may go through just pales by comparison. Just pales.

A night out for friends at a club, a few drinks. A few laughs. Dancing. Happy, young, upwardly mobile.

Beautiful. Did I tell you how beautiful they all are? Faces shown on smartphones, tv screens, computes. They look like me, and you. They look like our kids, grandkids, cousins. Daughters. Sons.

Many ask , “Why?” There are answers to that question, but that comforts not. There will be no comfort here…or will there?

Yes, there IS comfort. It can be found in the pages of a book written by our Creator, Jehovah. He hears our cries, and He sent His Son 2016 years ago to show us that there WILL BE A Resurrection!!!

That is knowledge we can take comfort in, and we can be there to welcome them back. Ask any one of the millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses earthwide how to do this. See you there!

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Grief and Bipolar Disorder

Let me start this blog off by saying that I am not a health care professional, nor am I licensed in any form of mental health capacity. All I am is a person in pain, having lost a dear loved one, and who also happens to suffer from Bipolar Disorder.

So, in a sense, that makes me an expert of sorts. I say that in a lighthearted way, coming from a heart that is anything but light. Ever since Daddy died I have been running in circles, like a dog chasing it’s tail. Somehow, I am dealing with each necessary task: the funeral, the cremation, the memorial, filing for assistance for myself since Dad supported me in my disability, cleaning up all the evidence of his sickness and dying that were left here in the house. It feels like being in the center of a hurricane.

Knowing that I will soon be back in the raging storm, only this time I will be alone.

In my manic state right now, I cannot sleep, cannot rest. I either forget to eat, or I eat the wrong things in the wrong quantities. I baked a cake and cupcakes last night at 11:45, then ate 3 cupcakes before lying down. No wonder I did not sleep, right?

I keep getting up, in a half asleep stupor, thinking I have to check on him. Then I wake up sitting at my computer at 4 in the morning, all crooked and stuck like a pretzel. Once the other day I fell asleep on my face with my glasses on, and they had embedded themselves into my head. Not a nice way to awaken.

But the endless cleaning, and going from room to room carrying the strangest things, and the inability to breathe normally are also very disconcerting. I have the feeling of impending doom, the one I had for years in active addiction, the feeling that came back when Mom died in 2010, the feeling that follows me like a shadow. It keeps telling me that I am all alone now, that there is no one to love me, or hold me anymore.

It is a terrible, sad feeling, and my head knows it is not real. God loves me, and will NEVER forsake me. I am in a cloud of witnesses, all loving Jehovah, and He has tight hold of my hand. So-leave me alone, terrible darkness! Stay at bay, awful sadness!

Please God, help me have soundness of mind, help me to have a quiet heart, a hopeful spirit, and faith sure and strong!! I know that you hear me, in the name of Jesus.

I am loved, and I am safe. I will never walk alone!

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Profound Joy!

Profoundly Alive. Zestful. Happy.

Hopeful. Forward Looking. Lifted up. Elated.

Active. Alive. Aware. Absolutely Positive.

I am these things, I am all of them.

I must believe that I am.

Loveable. Loved. Free. Truthful. Beautiful.

My heart healed, my wings mended, my joy complete.

I am now the person I always wished I could be.

I am not responsible for anyone else’s decisions, for anyone else’s pain.

I have paid the price for my past mistakes by enduring the consequences for my actions. I am not required to flog myself  any longer. I do not have to grovel before an abuser ever again.

I am fine, protected by God’s Love, able to fight the fine fight with the tools He provides, and His Holy Spirit.

The Sword of the Spirit, God’s Word the Bible.

The Breastplate of righteousness.

The Large Shield of Faith.

The Helmet of Salvation.

Loins Girded about with The Truth.

Feet shod with the Good News of Peace.

” There are are more who are with us than there are who are with them…”

I am no longer a victim, alone in my suffering and fear.

There is a way out of an abusive relationship. It starts with telling yourself the truth. It is not going to get better, his gifts will not make it better, your family does not hate you like he says they do. You are not ugly. You are not stupid. You CAN survive without him. You have everything you need within yourself, it is just hidden under all the fear and lies. Listen really close, and find the voice of the person inside you who spoke before he hit you the first time. She is calling out to you now, she is ready to come home. Just reach out, turn that doorknob, and don’t look back!

promises fulfilled
promises fulfilled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Down!!

This is the part that hurts. Feeling a vague feeling of guilt, knowing that this ebbing manic period has left devastation in my life again, not sure yet what it is. I feel like I’m coming down from a drinking/drugging binge, coming out of a blackout. Sick and hurting, depressed and angry at myself.

I had a sneaking suspicion, the last few days, that my bank account was in crisis, but in my addict’s brain I refused to check the balance, forging ahead with my spending. My head has cleared enough today to check the balance, and of course I am overdrawn. I knew I needed to have enough left to pay for framing for my new paintings, that is impossible now. Oh my….sigh…

Bipolar Disorder is a terrible illness, and I long for the day when all humankind will be relieved of the suffering we now endure. My faith is strong, my hope is sure, because I know that Jehovah can not lie, all His promises come true. I must hang of tightly to this knowledge so that I do not become immobilized with fear and guilt, falling into Satan’s trap of discouragement, and of the hopelessness he wants us all to feel. Hopelessness and despair can snuff me out like a windswept candle flame. ” Poof, she was gone! “, like the line in an old Hee-Haw song.

When I was still in active addiction, I would have to look at the clothes in my hamper to figure out what I had done the night, or weekend before. Seeing the outfit, picturing myself in it, and perhaps finding a pack of matches with a bar logo in the pant’s pocket, helped me figure out where I had  crashed and burned. The memories were like glimpses in a shattered mirror.

Now days that tactic doesn’t work too well, so I have to get up looking for food wrappers to see if I binged on chocolate, or paint on my clothing if I was up at 4 am creating a masterpiece. Oh, and I find crumpled up receipts and refuse to unfurl them, in the likely event they harbor some bad, bad spending. Ooohhh. Sends chills up my spine. I think I have come out of this manic phase relatively unscathed, I was able to straighten out the mess at the bank and I finally slept a real sleep of 4 hours last night. And I finally stopped repainting my latest oil painting, and put it under a fan to dry for the next show.

I have been beseeching my God to help me calm my burning mind, soothe the racing thoughts and awful images, and He does, Jehovah is the Great Therapist, and He leads me into quiet, safe places in my mind where I can heal. When I pray for His Holy Spirit he gives it freely to help me worship and serve Him, helping me to endure through these difficult times. And Jehovah welcomes everyone to take advantage of His assistance, He does not wish for anyone to die, that is why he gave the greatest sacrifice ever given: His perfect, only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

I just found out that one of my JW friends has lost a daughter in death, I am so grateful that God already has a ressurection planned for all of us, He promises that we will see our dead loved ones again. I will pray for the family tonight.

Thank you for listening tonight. Keep looking to the Bible for answers in your life! In it you will find peace and love.

Goodnight!

I am the cutest puppy in the world!!!
I am the cutest puppy in the world!!!