Viewing entries tagged
Loss

Still Standing




The mourning sun glares on a street
once enshadowed
By Twin Towers standing as guardians
over Manhattan.
As dust and tears settle on a now
unfamiliar skyline
Their thunderous demise still
echoes the Nation.

Instead of bringing this great county
to its knees
We rise shaken and bruised, refusing
to admit defeat.
We join together as one
to show
A united front towards
a common enemy.
 
Our flag continues to wave, The Star
Spangled Banner continues to play
And prayers are lifted unto heaven
on Angels' Wings.
Today, amidst the rubble and chaos
brought to this land
We, The United States of America
proudly STILL STAND!
                                                          (c) sierra sugar 9/12/2001

Growing up I remember my parents talking about the assasination of John F, Kennedy and how even decades later they could perfectly remember even the smallest detail of that singular moment in time.  I couldn't understand it.  That is, not until September 11, 2001.

Ten years ago today I was married to an enlisted Navy man serving shore duty at Patuxent River, Maryland, which is located just South of Washington DC.  We lived on base and he worked on the electronics and radar systems for the F-18 fighter jets.  That morning, like any other morning we both were at work and the kids were in school, him on base and the kids and I off base.  That's when I heard the news.  A patient called to say she wouldn't be in, she was watching the news and a plane just flew into one of the Twin Towers in New York.  I couldn't wrap my brain around that concept.

I went to put the news on for my boss and I.  I remember standing there with my phone in my hand as I had called my husband but it just rang and went to voice mail.  I vaguely remember hearing his voice mail message, as if through a hollow tin can, as the second plane flew into the other tower.  When the first tower collasped, that's when my legs gave and I crumpled to the floor.  By the time I was finally able to make my legs work and stand both towers had collapsed.  I don't remember crying but my eyes burned and my cheeks were wet.  Every number I tried to call got some message about circuits being overloaded and the call could not be completed.  Being that close to DC I didn't know whether my husbands squadron was going to get called out.  My family and friends didn't know if we were ok.

I nearly jumped out of my skin when my phone actually rang.  It was my husband.  He had literally two minutes to talk.  I remember him saying be quiet and listen.  Get the kids and get on base NOW, they are locking everything down.  No one in or out.  

My boss told me to go and I did.  I couldn't get through to the school but it didn't matter.  Cars were lined up, buses were loading kids already, and the office was in hyper drive checking IDs and signing kids out.  From that point it took me 3 hours to get on base as every car and person, kids included, went through a complete security check including metal detector and pat down.  They looked in cars, trunks, behind seats, used big mirrors to scan the under carriage of every vehicle.  Only those with valid military ID that showed they lived on base, or listed as critical crew were being allowed in, everyone else was turned away.  And at 6pm no one, living there or not, was getting on the base, period.  We were locked in for 3 days.

That night every navy wife and husband not on duty turned off their lights and sat in their front yards for a candle-light vigil.  Even the kids were solomn and still for that hour.  There was nothing we more we could do at that moment but pray and hope.  

For days we watched nothing but every video, news cast, interview, and heart-wrenching story from that fateful morning.  Until I finally couldn't take it anymore.  I turned the TV off and took the kids to the park on base.  Every moment of that day, every face seen on the TV, every tear, and every loss will always be etched in my memory.  And every day I am thankful that for all the heartache and loss that day, my family was spared.  I only wish so many others would have been as lucky.
Never Forget!

 

Sounds of Silence


This time of year is easily the hardest time for me. It sneaks up on me every year. My emotions run high. My tears fall freely. I find myself angry and confused for no apparent reason. And then I realize what's going on. And even though it all makes sense, it doesn't make it any easier.

Labor Day weekend. In the US it's a long holiday weekend filled with football, cookouts, friends, family, laughter, time at the beach or lake, and fun. For many it is the last hurrah before they go back to school. For others it is a quick reprieve after the first one or two weeks of being back to school. For me? It is the last time I saw Teddy (Thor Bishop in Second Life) alive. Four years ago over Labor Day weekend I was up in Long Island, New York spending the week with him, meeting his family, and planning our future. I flew home the day after Labor Day full of hope and happiness. One month later I found myself on a plane back to New York for his funeral. It doesn't seem like it has been four years. And then again at times it feels like its been more than a lifetime. Throughout the year I remember him with laughter and smiles. I have said my goodbyes to him. I have packed away all but the most treasured memories and I have gone forward with my life. Yet, I find once again this time of year tripping me up and bringing me down. Four years.

Autumn is such a beautiful time of year. Throughout most of the country the colors start to change to rich reds, warm yellows, glowing oranges, and deep purples. The air is just barely starting to turn cooler, but the days are still sunny and warm. My mother loved the warmer months. The hotter the better. She lived to be outdoors in the sun. Autumn is when we lost her. Two years ago September 24th my mother lost her battle with cancer. Two years ago this time of year we were watching her struggle and slip away. Two years ago we were all in denial and silently preparing for the eventuality of her death. As much as we wanted to ignore it, wish it would go away, pretend it didn't exist, the cancer most definitely did exist and it was stealing my mother away breath by breath every day. I can still see the changes in her from each visit. I can still feel the frailty of her as I cared for her, helped her move, bathed and fed her those last days. Two years.

It doesn't seem fair for cancer to win so often. But it does, and it doesn't care how old you are. This time last year, yet again we were left helpless as we all watched my sister-in-law lose her fight with cancer. She was only a couple years older than me and had been fighting cancer for 4-5 years. When my mother died the year before she left behind a husband and three adult children. When the insidious cancer took my sister, she left behind a husband, one child just barely in college, and another still in high school. I was here, where I am most days, taking care of my patient unable to get away. I got the news of her passing and grieved her loss alone in silence. One year.

This time of year is hard. And I don't know where else to vent except for here. The above incidents are not the only things that have happened during September/October the past couple years, but they are the most significant. The others are just salt in already painful wounds. I was alone when I got the news that Teddy died. I sat all alone on the floor in an airport crying into a cell phone telling my dad. My best friend in real life didn't even know and when I tried to tell her she didn't understand, she couldn't. When my mother died I felt like I had to be the one to be strong because I watched as my brothers and dad were coming to pieces. I couldn't even express my pain for over a year, and even then it was over the phone to a long-distance friend who had never lost anyone and had no clue what I was feeling.

The past month here has been crazy with all sorts of repair work and technical problems. I am most definitely stressed and worn out. The past two days I've barely been able to hold the tears in when I'm on the phone or on the air. Music helps, distractions help, but they are not enough. When I hurt I tend to isolate myself. Hoping for someone, anyone to notice and reach out. In theory those that know me know this. Yet not one of them has taken the time to ask what is wrong. I reached out in sheer desperation to two different friends, just needing a little compassion and comfort to help me through what felt like the worst of it. One completely ignored me. The other told me to "get over it".

Why do I continue to put my faith in people? I like to think that when it counts I am a compassionate person. Honest and caring. Willing to listen and try to understand. Life experience has given me a lot, whether I wanted it or not. But it helps me relate hopefully to people around me. No one is perfect, we all fall short sometimes. But I would hope that when it matters I'm able to see through to someone's pain and be there for them. For those of you that perhaps I failed in this, you have my most heart-felt sincerest apology. And for those that know me know I tend to say "Everybody leaves". And that's exactly how I'm feeling right now, everyone's gone and I'm left sitting here completely alone.

If you listen to the sounds of her silence you'll hear the crash of tears as they fall. And if you look through the brightness of her smile, you'll see the shadows of sorrow in her heart. (c) 2011 Sierra Sugar


.❊ ڪʈℜ○ηģƸℜ ❊.


Broken, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.


"I'm done hopin' we'll work out. I'm done with how it feels, spinin my wheels. I'm done thinkin' you'll ever change and I know my heart will never be the same, but even on my weakest days......I get a little bit stronger."

There is much talk about love and holding on, never giving up, always being patient. The movie "A Walk to Remember" quotes 1 Corinthians with this definition of love:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4"

But what do you do when you feel all of that and more but it is not returned? "Just Friends" is the most painful phrase to any heart in this position. What do you do when you would do anything for someone, but they in turn would do anything for someone else? What do you do when the daily friendship is like acid in your chest. When every conversation with them, every phone call from them, every message from them, as innocent as they may be, is a reminder that everything you want stops at the word "Friend"?

At some point you have to protect your heart, and your sanity. Sometimes, the hardest thing you'll ever have to do is just simply let go no matter how much they beg you to stay. Let go and wish them the best. Let go and hope they continue to find all the happiness in life you ever wanted for them, and that maybe someday you will too. Let go because being just friends is a daily reminder of just how much it hurts to never cross that line. It doesn't mean you're weak, or that you love the person any less, but that maybe its time to love yourself a little too.

"I can't make you love me if you don't. I can't make your heart feel something it won't. Here in the dark in these final hours I would lay down my heart and I'll feel the power, but you won't."


Hard Lessons

We deserve better than to stay together, simply because we are afraid of being destroyed should we part.
(paraphrased from "Eat. Pray. Love.")

No one ever said life and love were easy.  In fact, for most all of us those are the two most difficult things we will face between birth and death.  We spend our entire lives living to be loved or to find love, whether within ourselves or in someone else.  Some of us are lucky enough to find that blissful peace, many of us never will, and eventually all of us will suffer the soul crashing pain of loss.

When love is new and fresh it is beautiful and exciting; the highest of highs along with the invincible rush of adrenaline.  From our early years with our first puppy love crushes through adulthood, love attacks us and attaches to us in many forms.  Even the most mild of afflictions can leave us breathless and wanting for more.

It is that euphoria that drives us to find new love or to hold onto old love.  It is an addiction we feed, whether it is to find that grounding love in ourselves or see that reflection of acceptance from another’s eyes.  Love is beautiful.  Love is kind.  Love is wonderful.  Love is working together as both partners and individuals.  Love is supportive and encouraging.  Love is passionate and thrilling, and at times peaceful and calming.  It cannot be described in mere words. But it is all things good and healthy, even the battles serve their purpose to make love stronger.  But love misplaced can be crippling, and painfully debilitating.

Too many times so many find themselves in the grasp of the memory of love.  Not even hope, for hope is usually a good thing.  But the memory that lingers of what might have been if only…. We make excuses for why it went wrong.  We deceive ourselves with lies on how it will get better.  And we stagnate ourselves and our lives in a rut of painful familiarity clinging with white knuckles to one of the most perilous of words in the English dictionary:

If.

If I did this they will love me again.  If this changed things could be better.  If I was a better person…. If I had a better job….  If we lived somewhere else….  If I moved….  If they changed….  If they settle down….. So many ifs and each one of them sink into us like hooks, anchoring our hearts in a loveless place filled with anger, confusion, self doubt, and fear.  It is a deception.  The emotional wolf in sheep’s clothing teasing us with possibilities that logic dictates will never happen.  But the heart almost always over-powers the mind, because the call of Love and its warm metaphors is more appealing than the sterile coldness of logic.

Stronger than any opiate.  Real, honest, true, and reciprocated love has the power to bring about peace, serenity, passion and fire, trust, and respect.  But when love is gone or never was, and you refuse to see and move on, it also has the power to make even the strongest person hollow and weak.  Yet so many of us, myself included, have held on to something that wasn’t real simply because we were afraid of what was to come.  Or rather, what wasn’t. 

The guise of love, painful as it may be, was easier to handle than the thought of being alone.  And that simple fact is what eventually will cause a person to lose themselves completely.  Happiness does not come from another person.  Love cannot be commanded or controlled.  We cannot will someone to love us simply because we want them to.  And life will in fact go on with out them.  And if we let go, truly let go, we open ourselves up for the most pure and honest of loves to find us.  But we must have faith and stop holding onto the ifs.

I always say, “Never give up.”  Never give up on yourself! Don’t settle for any ifs or what might have beens. Believe enough in who you are go let go and live.

Let go of the lies.  Let go the anger.  Let go of the pain.  No more yelling.  No more unbearable silence. No more not being seen.  We all deserve better.

We deserve better than to stay together, simply because we are afraid of being destroyed should we part.

~sierra

Two Three Six Five - Sierra Sugar

Earlier in the year I was recommended by Callie Cline to the Two Three Six Five blog and they asked me if I would like to write. The Second Life Two Three Six Five is the SL version of the RL blog of similar namesake. After reading over the project and comparing the SL and RL blogs I was ecstatic to be included in this project. And of course the date that naturally came to mind for me to write about was 10/09/2010, a significant day to those that knew me.

Little did I realize the changes life would take over the past year and how it would effect my writing (and personal life) in a way I never imagined. If you haven't already been following this blog do go and check it out Here. If you've liked what I said please leave a comment. All feedback on anything I write is always most welcomed.

~Sierra Sugar