a hug from beyond...

i have been feeling very stressed for the past 11 months...  things started rolling down hill when mr petite told me he was seeing a lawyer about a divorce which he filed for less than a week after.  and things have continued to roll down hill picking up other debris on the way...

so at the moment i am under a gigantic snowball of stress and even though i know there are people who love and care about me, i have been feeling like i am in this winter storm all by myself.... 

but today as i was begrudgingly headed out for the yearly family rebellion on moms side of the family - the first one without mr. petite - i was thinking of my dad.  his family rarely had family rebellions because none of them could be in the same space for longer than a half hour without some sort of fight ensuing - verbal or physical....

and, how my uncle recently passed into that great family reunion in the sky where no doubt he and my dad and my uncles and aunts who went before are able to spend an endless amount of time together in the same space - without episode...  i bet they are probably still laughing about old times and confessions regarding what sort of fishing lure they really caught that huge fish on so long ago...

because it really doesn't matter so much any more.  and love truly IS enough.

i was grinning at that thought when i looked up from my driveway and saw something very peculiar in the sky.

peculiar enough that it warmed my heart.  it even made me feel like part of an entire universe of things that i have not and can not ever imagine with my small human brain or heart...

things that i may need to wait for that great family reunion in the sky to figure out...

the point is; i stood there looking at the sky knowing that no matter what i have to endure - or why - i am loved by something far greater than myself and i would be wise not to forget that...

as silly as it may sound i felt embraced and cared for...

so i went into the house and got my camera to document this...



my great hug from beyond...

you can believe what you will, but i believe this was a huge hug just for me from the great beyond....

and dad,  i love you more!

Trouble Jr and Grama B



Contrary to our belief system that stated Trouble and I would be the only siblings tolerated in our family, The Commandant  mom and dad decided to throw another brother into the mix many years after we'd both been honored as the residents who most inspired migraine headaches...  go figure. 

it was summer time hot in august and mom was running wet laundry through the wringer when Tj (Trouble Junior) decided it was time to move himself into the sunlight.

Dad came home from work early to take mom to the hospital with his own mom in tow...

Grama B was to be our temporary Hitler commandant for a week.  (do not underestimate my hitler reference; though this woman wore a dress when she was not posing for photographs in her new underwear, she was tougher than nails and frequently spit them amongst the descriptive words we were never allowed to use.

Trouble and I decided we'd better behave.  and behave very well.  

and we did for the most part...

but there was this one day (isn't there always?) when we were entertaining John and Trouble's sister - whose mom and dad were visiting at the hospital with our mom and dad and the little brother named Tj that we'd still not seen - no doubt they were downloading orders into his head to avoid us at all costs....

anyway because we'd run through all the possibles; lighting fires with the magnifying glass, digging tiny holes to china with the lawn hose, sneaking off to the beach for a swim that we knew would come with a consequence we weren't certain we wanted Grama B to dole out, we were busy counting blades of grass on the lawn under the clothesline.

Grama B came out of the house in freshly washed hair that was wound into hundreds of tiny circles and bobby pinned tightly to her head in an effort to form fashionably soft curls once it was dry.  she was carrying a basket to collect eggs from the hen house.  on her way she wagged a boney finger at all of us; "I know you are up to something... the four of you! you had best behave or a storm will suddenly appear and lightning will strike you down!"  

Lightning?  HA!  we weren't ascared of no lightning.  Grama B yes.  But lightning? not a chance...  besides, the sky was gloriously blue... 

Grama B disappeared into the hen house and we decided it might be fun to hold hands and chant around the big oak tree the clothesline was hung from just to see what we could conjure up.   (hindsight is always 20/20 and though we did not realize it then, Grama B could not only see ghosts, she could see the future too!)

so there we were, the four of us,  holding hands around the tree chanting random words and giggling until our sides hurt so much we would fall to the ground, lay there a while and then do it again.  but suddenly out of nowhere Grama B was standing there beside us swearing like no woman in a dress should be able to swear.   amidst the profanity we realized she was saying we needed to get in the house fast.  

and then the words simply turned to; GDitALL!!!! RUN!!!!!!

as we ran the sky behind us looked like a big black blanket was being unrolled very fast.  Grama B made it to the door before we did and just as she opened it huge drops of rain began to fall. 

GET IN THE HOUSE! GET IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM! AND FOR GODS SAKE  STAY AWAY FROM THE WINDOWS! 

so there we are all huddled in the center of the dining room in the sudden darkness listening to rain and debris hit the windows.  the huge claps of thunder were so loud none of us dared to move or speak.  and then Grama B quietly said; "I think we need to go into the basement now. I will go first but when i open that door you run down the steps and i will follow you."    

we all agreed.  we all held hands and followed a few steps behind her...
 
she made it as far as the kitchen when a huge clap of thunder rattled the house and was quickly followed by a lighting bolt that lit up the sky and the ground before it snapped and crackled and sent a huge ball of light and fire right through our screen door.   

the ball of light and fire hit the floor next to the sink and began spinning like a top for what seemed an eternity... Gram B screamed like a little girl, told us not to move and then in one quick fluid moment crossed the room, grabbed the broom, swept the ball of fire back out the door, dropped the broom and yanked out every last one of the 2004 metal bobby pins she had just placed in her hair and threw them on the floor.  we then proceeded with the plan to go into the basement.  where we huddled in the north west corner until the darkness was gone.
 
once it was, but for the massive pile of bobby pins on the floor, we found no signs that the lightning had ever come into the house....

outside was an entirely different story.  there was debris everywhere and the huge oak tree that we had just been circling had been shattered into millions of splinters - some of which had gone directly through other trees in the yard as well as produce in our garden.   

 
wow! we kept saying, for lack of any other vocabulary to describe what it was we were seeing....

and as we stood there amongst the splinters at the bottom of a jagged stump in awe,  Grama B stood us all in a line, waggled her boney finger and said;  

I WARNED YOU BUT YOU ABOUT THAT LIGHTNING DIDN'T I? NEXT TIME YOU HAD BETTER LISTEN!! 

Trouble swallowed hard trying to blink back fear.  Trouble's sister started to cry.  John stood quietly squeezing my hand while trying to look as innocent as he could....

and me....  i tried very hard to remember exactly what words we had used in that circling chant because i knew i never wanted to use them again....   EVER!

Tj came home crying the next day.

the day after that Trouble and i started reprogramming him.  

and we knew he learned very well the day the first real words he had ever spoken were explicative's...  

but that's a whole other story....