Archive | March 2013

The Luminescence of Retrospection…

It is Saturday, March 30, 2013. My husband has been dead for three years, three months, ten days, fourteen hours, and fifty-two minutes. I wish this were the part where I write about how I moved on and found happiness, but that is not the case. Instead, this is the part where I once again lament my loss. I grieve my loss every single day; however, this is one of those days where the emptiness screams more loudly than usual. The silence threatens to eradicate my existence.

I am watching Forrest Gump for the fortieth time. This movie makes me even more melancholy than usual. My husband did not care for this show. In retrospect, he watched it intently the first time we watched it together. I think when I watched it for the tenth time, he lost interest and began to resent the show. I really do not know what it is about Forrest Gump and Lieutenant Dan that move me, but I think it is the idea of examining the highlights of one’s life so keenly, while some of the most outstanding songs in our history play on. Just about every incident brings tears to my eyes, regardless of how often I watch it.

People say that we should not dwell on the past, but just move toward the future. I have never fully understood or agreed with that statement in its entirety. I believe that we should continue to move forward, but I also think that it is only through intent observation and willingness to learn from our mistakes that we can move forward. We must learn from our mistakes, yet we risk continuing the same irrational and ignorant behavior.

The character of Forrest Gump makes me think about all the stupid things in our history from which we failed to learn. For instance, it was not that long ago when citizens were teaching fellow Americans to turn their backs on young soldiers returning from Vietnam, as though our government did nothing wrong. Absurdity. Young men gave their limbs, souls, and sometimes, their lives, believing they were defending a country they loved. To say their welcome home was less than amicable is a gross understatement.  

It was around the same time in history that we, as a nation, were justifying a biblical misconception that white people are somehow superior to other races. Careful, ignorance is capable of breeding stupidity. Have we really learned from our mistakes? Because the current biblical misconception is that homosexuals are somehow inferior to heterosexuals. Not too many years ago, rock and roll music was responsible for our spiritual demise. I shudder to think at what may be labeled the next culprit.

Perhaps it is time we examined our nation’s past more thoroughly. On a rainy Saturday afternoon, that is precisely what I am doing. I am remembering the laughter that my husband and I shared. I am remembering the tears we shared. I am remembering 20 years’ worth of irreplaceable moments that we spent together. I am remembering how it felt to be loved and adored, while music plays in the background. I can see my past, even with mistakes I made, and learn from it. So, what have I learned? I learned that love is the most beautiful emotion of which human beings are capable. I learned that grief is one of the most powerful emotions of which every living being is capable, and that it is different for everyone. Examining our nation’s past-I learned that hate is the ugliest emotion of which human beings are capable. I learned that prejudice leads to hate, and that it comes in many different forms. I learned that fear feeds hate. I can only hope that a thousand years from now, someone examines our behavior and learns from it. We are all living, breathing creatures and deserve equality, and love. Our differences are many, and those differences are what we should embrace. In the end, it matters not what color we are, or what our sexual preference is, what matters is what is in our hearts. So, examine your heart and let the luminescence of retrospection remove the fear. The light is how we move forward.

©2013 Relinda R.


Charlatan Veneer


Walls painted pure in white with stains of charlatan veneer seeping through plaster. Rising from the pews are faces wearing the façade of devotion while dark desire stirs within their loins. Mantras masked in fear dripping from tongues dipped in the dried ink of detestation. The impressionable little children absorb the fumes of ancestral bigotry within open minds hungry for information, amidst woven carpets where goodness lay still within pores of stone. Beneath ancient stone, love silently weeps to escape the vacillation of humanity’s misinterpretation. Image

And while He shudders with disgust at thousands of years’ accumulation of odious and ignorant delusion, He embraces a starving homeless man donning disheveled garments, lying helplessly in the dark alley, just behind the mound of plaster where echoes of brimstone scream in laughter, where fat women dressed in flowers baked bread all night for the charming pastor, whose spittle reeks of hypocrisy. With disappointment in His eyes and all knowledge in His being, He carries His child Home, where hatred exists no more.

©2013 Relinda R.





Visits in the Darkness


The monster visited last night. Every time that I dozed, I would wake moments later to find myself drenched in sweat. My face felt wet, but I’m not sure if it was sweat or tears. I know it was the monster. I could see it lurking in the darkness of my room. I think I saw it perched on the cascading spray of autumn flowers that adorned his coffin. It smiled at me. Its teeth were remarkably white. I never imagined that a monster could have such impeccably white teeth. I think I smiled back at it. I’m not sure. It whispered in my ear. I felt its hot breath upon my neck as it whispered to me. The monster’s name is Grief.

©2013 Relinda R.

My Declaration of Existence


     I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to explain the reason for my growing frustration with life, but it is becoming seemingly impossible to express. My dilemma begins with the fact that I was once an optimist. I could find the good or possible positive outcome in even the direst of situations. Now, I see nothing either good and not even minimal possibility of ever enjoying life again. I accepted that outlook years ago; however, my frustration is in trying to explain that my outlook does not suggest that I am ungrateful for the blessings I do have. I recognize my blessings and I am grateful. People are so frustrating because they expect widows or widowers to be satisfied with what life offers, never recognizing that they had a partner in everything they did and are now flying solo.

     Whenever a friend is trying to convince one that God thinks it best that you rejoice in the death of your spouse because that is part of his Grand Plan, how does one look that friend in the eye and respond. How does one explain that his or her spouse made life worth living, that he or she made you feel like you were the most important being on earth. How does one respond? I know that some people find love again because they let it go, but some remain attached to that one soul who made them whole.Image

     During my journey of life, I traveled from having something to look forward to each day to having absolutely nothing in which to focus upon with true hope except death. It is only in death that I will see my love again. How does one explain that? Trust me; if you speak those words aloud, people with white coats come calling and waving costly tickets to Looneyville.

     I surrender in my efforts of explanation. I should not have to explain anything. I miss my husband. I miss sharing every waking moment possible with him by my side. I miss working on our yard together. I miss working in our shop together. I miss watching movies together. I miss reading to him and sharing stories. I miss holding him and him holding me. I miss kissing him and him kissing me. I miss making love and sharing our devotion to each other. I miss feeling loved. I miss sex. Nothing I do during the rest of my life will come close to meeting any of those fulfillments. Nothing.

     I have accepted my fate. I continue living. I set high goals and I meet them. I do not have to be the person I once was or smile to make others feel more comfortable. It is what it is. I live a life of solitude, even when people surround me. Does that mean that I do not believe in God—No! Does that mean that I am not grateful for my children—NO! Does my sadness imply that I do not appreciate my friends?—No! If you plan to save me from some apocalyptic hell to which you believe me to be destined—do not bother. I am going to the same place as you. All I have to do is trudge on until that time. I just close my eyes and I see him there—waiting for me.

     The method in which I manage to teeter just on the edge without completely falling over is really quite simple. I try to focus on little things and set goals. For instance, I have an exam this week. That is my immediate goal—to pass the exam. My long-term goal is to obtain my Master’s degree. That is it. There will not be any celebratory parties for me, myths of grandeur, love (and I mean the sex kind of love by that), or anything…really, just a goal and I may have a chocolate bar to reward myself for hard work. There is nothing in which to look forward to for me. One can survive, even knowing that love is dead. It is dismal, it is lonely, but it is what it is.

     There it is—my declaration of existence. I was fortunate to be born and find a man who thought I was the most beautiful and special girl in the world. I am fortunate to have two wonderful parents who always love me. I am fortunate that I have two beautiful children who teach me so much about life. I am fortunate that I have wonderful friends who make me smile even when I only want to cry. I have all that—and for that, I am grateful. However, I am missing the other half of my heart, of my soul, and the half that means I will never again be loved that way—while I exist in this life. I will never feel beautiful again. I will never feel loved again. I will never feel complete again. How anyone can find optimism in that knowledge is beyond me. I think they only find it when it is not happening to them. An explanation is unnecessary because it is MY declaration of existence, but I hope my declaration clarifies things.

©2013 Relinda R.Image


Excerpt from Shades of Grief



Hope can lead you to hell on the same path from which it delivers you from the depths of hell. Hope can crush you as though you are merely a speck of sand. The path to the perilous abyss is paved with crushed fragments of Hope. You can close your eyes and hope for something to be true. Open your eyes and you will see the glisten of Hope’s sword as it slices your heart in two. Keep your eyes wide shut.

©2013 Relinda R.



Excerpt from “Shades of Grief”


Careful, girl, silence threatens to erect steel walls where none existed before. Shadows hide in dark corners just awaiting their chance to escape into illumination. Their birth warns all those living to beware. Loneliness leads a soul into an abyss of annihilation, where shards of broken dreams bar all exits. It is hell where empty souls march without ever touching. It begins with silence. It ends with solitude.

©2013  Relinda R. from “Shades of Grief”

A Shade of Grief


Pretty jonquils dancing in the wind, but I cannot see them anymore. Trees ready to bud and sprout beautiful shades of green, but they are all dead to me. Bulbs linger just beneath the ground preparing to live another season, but I lie still. Breezes whisper to all the little Thumpers playing among the leaves winter left behind, but I cannot hear the wind’s whispers. Mother Nature threatens to let spring loose again, but I remain in endless winter, fighting to breathe and escape the numbing cold.

©2013 Relinda R.