These same blue windows…

I remember small drops of time, little moments that were given to my memory as if to say – this was real, this happened, and your generation will be better because of it.

There I sat, eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I had strategically cut with my favorite star shaped cookie cutter – yes this was what we did before uncrustables, gasp. I sparingly picked at the peanut butter side knowing I had only put a sliver on the bread to justify and indulge in the jelly – smuckers always had it right. I try to maneuver the sandwich between each hand in perfect balance to keep it from spilling over onto the floor below me, I push the power button on the then “flat screen” television and listen to the familiar jingle as I turn my back knowing the TV’s bulbs are warming up.

I take my favorite seat on the couch in the middle, that perfect spot where you sink into the cushions as though they are embracing you in a hug, but when it comes time to stand up and be productive – you find yourself stuck and committed to the comfort of the energy. I wrap myself up in a blanket as a cool breeze from the April month whips into the living room through an open window (if you should know anything about me as a child, teen, adult, fetus – whatever…I love sleeping with the window open) I pull it tight around me and finish the sandwich I had just delightfully demolished. When I look up to the screen I am welcomed with the news station “sudden alert” update, I hear a weird beeping like it is trying to inform me of unsound and hasty weather – nope that’s not it, anyone from the midwest knows there is a small enough graphic presented with the information of which counties are hell over head in trouble with weather, the graphic that let’s you know “oh shit that’s me” but not quite big enough to know for sure.

I read the bottom screen as it scrolls rapidly…what even is a massacre – I know we’ve read about this in social studies but hell I wasn’t paying anywhere near the attention I should have been”…
“Columbine Massacre”
“Where is Columbine located – is this in relation to Christopher Columbus, should I call my mom since she isn’t home yet?”

I pass on that idea and decide to turn up the volume so I can actually hear what is going on and maybe connect a few dots here, see the extent of my vernacular is limited – my brain has only seen a world of one teacher a day, seven subjects, oregon trail, doctor quandry, everything was PC, schools had gym & recess, we had lunch tickets – not pins yet, we scraped our knees and it was ok to cry; the faculty didn’t call the parents as though someone was being beat, these were the days of no worry where we swung on the swingsets with our best friends to pass time, and played in trees while making secret clubs because we thought that was cool. We were in our self created bubble that was quite warm and quite safe – we were in the 4th grade, at recess we played four square – at lunch we ate tater tots…and liked them – at class we actually learned something – and at the end of the day actually enjoyed going home to see our parents whom we had missed from the long absence.
We weren’t old enough to breathe independence but we were close enough to smell it – we hadn’t even come close to the real world or anything associated with it, we didn’t hear of kidnappings and Jaycee Dugard, we didn’t know what a pedophile was or what their intent was at our softball games …we were safe, we were made safe, and we were constantly assured of our safety – in between any given tornado drill….which sucked if you had the smelly kid next to you or someone so anxious they farted – that was just awful.

Our world was small, and warm, we had love, and birthday parties, we didn’t pay taxes or work part time jobs, we enjoyed the freedom and fullness our miniscule world had to offer…until that cold day that reflected through an entire nation in grief on one brief moment in time that will never leave any of us the same

….

I will spare the disparaging details of that horrific day to anyone that is not informed, a fine tuned search entry guess through google should lead you straight away to the answer.
Fastforward 12 some years

And here I stand staring at these blue windows that so vividly kept repeating the reel on my TV screen that awful day – I recognize them but I don’t feel the same way my 4th grade self did…Yes I know I’m a different person, in a different time, and a different distance from that time long ago – but it doesn’t change what happened that day, the situation that forever changed the idea of what public high school meant to all of us, what our perception of safety was, and where we could feel comfortable/loved/and safe once again.
I breathe the air in deep and I close my eyes, I remember that picture of students bodies being dangled from these very windows – people lying on stretchers exactly where my feet were planted and loved ones mourning known losses within arms reach of me – we are in a different time, but that moment and those memories will never leave me; I will never forget these blue windows those scared faces, and all the selfless acts I read about at this very location. Columbine changed the history and knowledge of protection and safety for generations to come – and as I sit here typing this as my 23 year old self I know the truth’s and sadness of today’s society in which status is more important than characteristic – souls can be bought after beauty – and infamy can be attained in a single credit card swipe. I also know the atrocities in which our vision of safety has since been changed and formed – before that day the world was one, green, loved, happy; after that day, the world digressed and the evils took over – I unfortunately know who Jaycee Dugard is, I know what a war means, I relentlessly have to pay taxes more than I ever could have imagined, I know what a bomb threat is inside of the safe walls of school – I know what a national threat is, and I unfortunately know how many people’s lives can be lost in a short amount of time – the world we grew from on that unfortunate day has not become brighter, rather, a more cruel – dangerous – and scary place.

Staring at this beautiful memorial that has been erected in honor of those lost selflessly that day I am speechless, I am among other bodies that are reading alongside me and probably with me but I say nothing, I wander around while beads of sweat fall from my brow and I am silent – I feel moved. It’s nothing I can put into words I just feel completely, physically, emotionally moved – this place is no longer one of sadness, nor is it of joy – this place is a sacred ground that will be visited for decades to come – the unfortunate events that took place for this to be here will be in history books my children will read and I will explain to them a story very similar to the one you have just read, this place is at peace, I felt as though I could lie in the grass and take a nap, I felt as though I could hug the woman reading the stones to her son next to me, I felt whole – In some weird ass backwards way; the Columbine Massacre brought not only people together on such a deep emotional level, it moved a national to tears of regret, tears of sadness, and tears of sorrow; this single event shook the Earth in shock waves we weren’t even introduced to, because of this event I’m standing here today reading the bios of the beautiful lives lost all too soon.

I know not one of these names personally but as I continue reading onto the 3rd or 4th name and story I pull my sunglasses down to hide the tears that are flowing from places I didn’t know were there – I am conflicted with this feeling of wholeness and that memory of helplessness – I will never forget that day, nor the lives that were lost before there time.

Hug your loved ones, kiss your parents, and don’t wait until tomorrow to do what you can today.
M

 

This is what you see behind the school – as though you are looking at those hopeless blue windows, you turn your back and see such peace.

afterthought: My husband and I are now proud owners of a small townhome/apt 3 miles from Columbine High School – the peaceful calm feeling we both shared that day at the memorial has followed us to our new home not too far away – we couldn’t be more happy and whole in the blessings of our lives.

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The Bright Side Of Your Bad Days & The Right Side Of The Bed

“Hey baby?” Yeah… “What’s a vow?”

   It was such a simple question that struck me without an answer, I had a roundabout – mundane way of wording the exact definition, but nothing that would satisfy the hunger for the proper answer. I had so many notes and notions – followed by a witty anecdote I’d been conjuring up for what seemed like months, I had words and phrases and quips that matched the flow of the message but staring at it, I found myself thinking…. “What in the hell is a vow…”

              These words sweep across a page to form a lacksdaisacal sentence structure to which my feelings are attached, as simple and non appealing as my writing is a whole lot of emotion and heart felt is attached to those words – be gentle with them and be careful with them, for they could break at any moment as could my heart. Doesn’t mean Ill stop feeling, doesn’t mean I’ll stop loving.

              It had always seemed so simple, the concept a tangible thing I could squeeze so tightly words might just flow from it, but no – in this life I’ve come to find just this – a vow is a promise, more than a promise…a vow is your sacred word to whom you love and share your deepest most inner workings with.

I can’t write my words if I don’t have you, I can’t make sense of us with my words – for once in my entire life I can’t explain this anomoly I’ve always been able to write and to express through my writing what people mean, who I am, what I feel – it’s the most raw and real thing I’ve ever experienced and respected like gold – but for the first time, I have zero words, I have zero sentences, I have nothing But I have you and my heart is full – and you gave me that I have us – and it makes my smile hurt I still have me – while having a piece of you – we fill spaces we didn’t know were empty to depths we didn’t know existed For once I’m perfectly content with not having words to explain this thing – because what we feel isn’t something that should be shared with the world, people look for this kind of thing everyday; we’ve truly lucked out to stumble upon it – but kept under tight lips, a lock, and key…

   ….  considering myself a writer, writing my vows was the single most difficult thing I’ve ever done, putting the proper word with the intense emotion and feeling I have for this person seemed impossible – I was so scared that I couldn’t pick the perfect words or I wouldn’t have the proper amount of promises; it became stressful – something I poured over, cried about, then ultimately put off until the night before my wedding…I needed that pressure and stress to squeeze out, what to me seems, the most perfect words I could give this amazing man and relationship for all of time.

I choose you for life,

I promise to give you the best of myself and not to take you for granted

I promise to keep myself open to you  to share my happiness and trust you with my pain

I promise to be authentic with you, to be honest even when it is not easy

I promise to grow along with you, to be flexible as we develop individually and as a couple

I promise to be your partner, to take care of you and also depend on you

I promise to help you be your best self, to support you, encourage you, and challenge you

I promise to build a strong marriage with you, to provide a secure and loving family for our children someday

I promise to love you and be faithful in good times and in bad, completely and forever. 

You have my heart now – and you have all of it, so please be gentle with it. I always said good people deserve good things – and I truly believe that you are the reward for everything I have done right in my life thus far.

I promise to be the bright side of your bad days and the right side of the bed

I vow to you my deepest love, my fullest devotion, my tenderest care, through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to love you, to commit to you, and support you. I pledge to respect your unique talents and abilities, to lend you strength for all of your dreams. You have shown me what true love feels like and for that I Thank you. You are everything I need at this moment. I know all of my prayers have been answered and that all of my dreams have come true in you.  I know that our love has been the biggest blessing and saving grace in our lives I promise to be here from this day forward and ensure that you will never walk alone. My heart will be your shelter, and my arms will be your home, as I give you my hand to hold on this day, I give you my heart and life to keep forever. I love you. 

May 18, 2012 was the single, most amazing day of my life – I was blessed enough to have the beautiful opportunity to marry my best friend and the man of my dreams; and anyone that has had a negative thought about that I sincerely wish you the best in life and that you found the superb happiness we’ve found – the happiness that hits you so hard and so deep that you can’t stand the thought of life without that person, I’m blessed I found it and I wish all that and more for you .

We couldn’t have predicted this, guessed this, or even dreamt of this… We always say we spent eternity with all the wrong people that it only took a breath of time to realize, appreciate, and commit to the right one – without you, I’m not me – and without us this life would suddenly not feel worth creating into something more. With you my puzzle is complete and I’ve never been more content and inspired by the picture I see – on this day in this moment of time; I become your wife and you my husband – it’s a pretty powerful thing I don’t take for granted one single second, we will face challenges and thusly we will face triumphs….  

I buckle my seatbelt after I slide into the roller coaster seat next to the most amazing man I’ve ever known and gear up for the ride of our lives – for when we are on the highest highs and lowest lows I know I will be looking next to me at my best friend, love, and support system helping me and holding my hand through it all.

what better time to finish your vows than 5 hours before your wedding

Something Old

Something New

Something blue (although its black and white)

Something borrowed

A Big thank you to Sharon Hedstrom – beautiful and elegant work!

Since 2nd grade…until forever 🙂

About ready to cry

We’re sweaty….95 degrees with 100% humidity – ugh.

reading my ‘dear wife’ letter 🙂 I love a man that writes

Lovely decor – a big thank you to Peggy – Mike – and Co.

My most beautiful best friend and Maid Of Honor 🙂

My brother flew all the way from PA to walk me down the aisle 🙂 Best surprise of my god damn life. I love you brother bear

…We were struggling to get through some vows….

“It’s ok babe… you can do it”…. 🙂

“Ok I’ll go first…” Then some tears take place.

– and now he feels better and takes his turn – 🙂

I.Do.

making it official

My new Family

Me & Sissy with Brew #2 kicking around

“Untle Max, Auntie May” and Brody

My best gingie’s Love you brother bear and sister cub.

Love you guys – a big thank you!

and what says congratulations better than a shot of tequila?

so serene.

I love you for all of time

a HUGE thank you to my friend and colleague Emily Hedstrom for providing such beautiful images and assistance on our big day – there’s no one else I would trust with our images other than you and your spectacular talent. ALL IMAGES courtesy and copyright of Emily Mariposa Photography.