Thursday, July 18, 2013

Things I Suck At

I wasn't born with any extraordinary talents. I am not a chemistry wiz or gifted banjo player. I can't run super fast or really even walk and remain upright without extreme concentration. But I am really OK with that. I am decent enough at plenty of things and am realistically aware of my strengths. However, there are things that I am so bad at, its down right laughable. Seriously.

1. Wrapping presents. I have tried and tried many times to learn how to wrap presents without it looking like the handy work of a drunk toddler. Even when I have taken the time to press sharp creases in all the folds and perfectly place the tape, it inevitably winds up looking like this:

2. Doing math in my head. I don't know what it is, but when I attempt even simple subtraction with out the assistance of a pen and paper, the results are almost always off. I also SUCK at remembering numbers - especially numbers with more than 2 digits. I have arrived at the conclusion that my brain is a black hole for numbers: Once they go in, they ain't never coming back.

3. Leaving voice messages. In general, I have don't have a problem talking. I also don't have a problem talking on the phone. However, ask me to leave a voice message for someone and suddenly I panic and forget how to form a sentence. It is bad enough that I can't put together a string of coherent words, but I also suddenly aquire the compulsion to KEEP TALKING! I ramble on and on while repeating non-words, "Yaaaaaah, ummmmmm, RIGHTIE -O! Uhhhhhhh, buh-byies now." I am pretty sure I have even grunted on occasion. When I was in my second year of college, I was leaving a message on a restaurant answering machine where I had applied for a serving job. I was trying so hard to sound friendly and upbeat that somehow I ended up saying "Love you, bye!" at the end of the message. Oddly, I never heard back from them. It has been so bad that at times, as soon as I finish leaving a message, I can't even remember what I said.

4. Lying. I am a horrific liar. When ever I attempt to fib, suddenly I am like a four year old with a face full of chocolate, trying to blame all the missing the cookies on the dog. I am about as convincing as a sand sales person in the Sahara Desert. When ever I have tried my hand at fibbery, I feel like Joey on Friends: the stories involve random things such as poltergeists, overdue library books and raccoons. I hate lying, so I have never bothered to get good at it. Seems like way too much work to me.

5. Running. Running for me is like bath time for a cat: an utter nightmare. The simple act of successfully placing one foot in front of the other presents a considerable challenge for me. Needless to say, coordinating my leg movements at extreme speeds is just pleading for disaster. I was not built to handle the emotional anguish of running either. The few times my running attempts were not cut short by sustaining physical injury, I ended up with the strongest urge kick a puppy. I always feel sore, sweaty, annoyed and scared. Why would anyone voluntarily run? I don't think I will ever understand it. It would take being hunted by a pack of psychotic, homicidal clowns to get me to even toy with the idea of running. Truth be told, I would likely just try to find a good place to hide instead.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ain't Nothin' You Could Ever Do...

Two week ago, Saturday was kind of a strange day for me. First, because I went to a funeral and that always makes for a weird day. Secondly, the last funeral I attended was Simon's (my first husband) a little over two years ago, so that added to the weirdness. Finally, the funeral was for the man who both preformed our wedding and Simon's funeral: weirdness x3. It took me this whole past week to process what I was feeling about it all but I think that I have come through the other side of the experience at peace in my heart - missing Rev and Simon but believing that somehow they have managed to find each other and are enjoying a big, fat cigar together over there...where ever that might be.

I felt a lot of things when we walked into the sanctuary of the church for his funeral services, but the one thing that struck me most profoundly was the sight of Rev's robe near the pulpit. It was the robe he wore during the wedding, Simon's funeral and it was hung limply on a wire rack. It struck me how massive that robe looked hanging on that small wire frame. It appeared so empty and hollow compared to when it was filled with the expansiveness that was Rev in his physical form. It looked almost hunched forward as if mourning the vibrancy of the man who used to wear it.

Rev in his robe, September 2, 2010

William Watson III or simply, "Rev" to those who knew him, was someone you never forgot - even if you only met him once. He stood roughly seven feet tall, was built like a linebacker and had the single most deep, velvety smooth voice I've ever heard; he honestly gave Berry White a run for his money. I love hugs - good, solid hugs - not lame, limp, wimpy ones. Rev was one of my favorite people to hug because he was so huge and the man hugged like he meant it! He would put those massive arms around me and wrap me up in all his warmth and "Rev-ness." It was splendid. He was a regular at the cigar shop, The Perfect Ash (click link for a beautiful memorial written by one of the Perfect Ash regulars), where Simon worked and hung out. I found myself there with him quite a bit and as a result, I got to know some of the guys who also frequented there. Rev was one of those guys I had the fortune to spend time with.  We chatted about my work as a psych nurse, we joked about all kinds of stuff and discussed faith a lot. Rev was many things in his life: a father, friend, Secret Service Agent for the Regan Administration, founder and lead Pastor of Revelations Christian Center International...the list literally goes on and on. He was involved in so many noble ventures and was loved by everyone who knew him.

As I mentioned, the journey though my spirituality has not always been an easy one for me. I have always asked lots and lots and lots of questions and found myself in the face of many doubts. I remember talking to Rev about my feelings. He was so patient and loving about my nonstop questioning and doubts. I remember being so frustrated one day when we were talking and I said, "Shit, Rev! What if God just thinks I am a royal screw up?!" Yes, I did say the word "shit" to a man of the cloth. His response kinda surprised me. Smiling - almost snickering with his head shaking, giant shoulders bobbing up and down, he said to me in his low Berry White voice, "Baby Girl! Ain't nothin' you could ever do to make God stop loving you!" It was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. Even as I fumble around in my spirituality to this very moment, I think of those words and feel unbelievable comfort.

After Simon died, Rev called me several times a week for several weeks. He left messages, most of which I never returned. I kinda disappeared off the face of the earth for a while after Simon died. Many people called me and reached out to me during that time and I so appreciated it and it meant so much. However, I just didn't have the energy to call people. But Rev kept calling. I would save the messages and listen to them. His voice was so warm and reassuring. His messages were always so loving and made me feel at peace, "Hey Sweetheart, its Rev. Just want to let you know I am thinking of you and praying for you. I am here if you need anything at all. God Bless." "Baby Doll, Rev here. No need to call back, just calling to say I am loving you today and you are on my mind." I found myself smiling at the sweetness of his words, even as I listened to them for the four hundredth time. Those who heard Rev speak at Simon's funeral can confirm one thing: it was one of the most heartfelt, funny, stunningly accurate eulogies imaginable. Personally, I just can't imagine a better send off for Simon than the one Rev lead. It was beautiful from start to finish.

I don't feel like I ever got to properly thank Rev for the incredible things he did for me. I regret that so much but for some reason when I start to feel badly, I can't help but picture him snickering with those bouncing shoulders saying, "Baby Girl! Ain't nothing you could ever do to make me stop loving you!" I love you too Rev.

Above is a link to a video of Rev as the key note speaker at a Martin Luther King rally. I love it because you get to hear his voice and see how inspirational he is! Totally worth watching and is 15 minutes of your life that you won't regret spending :)