Coral’s Healing Room at Coralsblog.com 505-269-9242 iwritetohealmyself@gmail.com I rise early. I go to bed early. If you need me, I will make myself available to you.

My name is Coral and I am five years vegan tomorrow!

I am sitting here in the studio with Nahko on Shawn’s Birthday, and I was remembering that the last time I ate my friends. Tomorrow is my five year veganversary! It was March 9th 2014 and My mom made my brothers favorite meal…my mom made her famous enchiladas. My last non-vegan meal was my moms ground beef enchiladas, smothered in cheese. My brothers birthday meal was my very last non-vegan meal. Five years ago something shifted for me and I want to write about that this afternoon. I didn’t stop eating animals because I didn’t fancy the taste of those enchiladas. If you ever had my moms enchiladas, you know what I am saying. They were the best enchiladas I have EVER eaten! And her birthday cakes…I didn’t stop eating those because I didn’t like how they tasted. I have to tell you that I stopped eating animals because I finally realized that I was eating animals.

My name is Coral and I am vegan. This is my story and I hope it teaches you a thing or two, as my life has taught me, a thing or two. I was so fucking disassociated that I truthfully had not made the connection, that I was eating a once living, breathing sentient being. Ground beef enchiladas did not equal our beautiful cows, Karuna or Ahimsa to me. We didn’t have Karuna or Ahimsa back then. Chicken fajitas weren’t Piñon. Lisa and Janet and Negro weren’t chicken tacos. Bacon wasn’t Sidney. The pork chops that I ate were not named Jenny Sue or Brixen. Namaste wasn’t a slab of ham on my plate and I wasn’t eating the ovulation of Lisa and calling it my breakfast. I wasn’t waiting to slaughter Samuel and Duncan for Thanksgiving dinner. I wasn’t stroking my lucky rabbits foot and making a wish. I wasn’t eating goat cheese on my crackers. I hadn’t made the correlation that all lives matter. I didn’t get that the lives of the sentient beings on my plate mattered at all. I thought they came here for me. I was so fucking ignorant that I believed that these beings came here for my gratification…to satisfy my tastes and my hunger. Five years ago I did not know that my food was actually the Caracas of my dead friends. I was eating dead flesh. I was drinking the bodily secretions meant for baby cows. I was eating the period of a fucking chicken for breakfast every day, with a side of crispy Tombstone. I was fucking asleep! And the worst part was that I had absolutely no idea that I was asleep. Only a couple of months sober from alcohol, I was definitely a hot fucking mess back then. I was so asleep and tuned out that I was about to be on an adventure like no other. I was beginning the journey of waking up…becoming conscious and aware and concerned. I had no fucking idea then…I was about to be transformed! I had no idea that I was so asleep. I could not have known how disconnected I truly was.

Five years later and I will tell you this, I will never not be vegan. I will never eat my friends again. I will never not know what I have come to know. I have come to know that their lives matter. Every single one of their lives matter. There are more carcinogens in the food that many of you eat than there are in the cigarettes that some of you smoke. Did you know that? Cigarettes have warning labels. The 40 pounds of raw chicken that you just bought is going to kill you quicker than the cigarettes are going to kill the Marlboro man next door, peering at you over his oxygen tank. Don’t believe me? Do your research. And now that we are outsourcing our food supply, so you really think what you are eating is safe? The disconnect is real. That 40 pound tray of chicken that you just bought…those chickens were someone. They were someone. All hacked up on a slab of styrofoam and shrink wrapped, slapped with a price per pound sticker and thrown in your cart. We are so disconnected.

We are raising children. We are teaching classes. We are in leadership roles and in animal rescue. We stand in pulpits and we preach peace. How can we rescue dogs and cats and eat cows, pigs and chickens? Your fucking bologna did have a first name. How do we preach peace when we eat the slaughtered remains of sentient beings? We are disconnected my friends. We are so disconnected.

Five years ago, I began to connect the dots. I began to question things that seemed wrong to me. I began to give a shit about someone other than myself. I set down my carne adovada burrito and I ate my last poached egg. I stopped buying leather and I made different choices. I started to give a shit and I mean really give a shit about other beings on this planet. Five years ago I stopped eating animals because I came to know that they are not mine to eat or to wear or to exploit.

As my brothers birthday lunch came to a close five years ago, I could never have foreseen how drastically our lives would shift. I could not have known that I would never eat another animal again. I could not have known that my mom would get cancer in a few months and die. I could not have known that our dining room would occupy another family that they wouldn’t welcome us. We don’t sit at that table as a family anymore. We are not a family anymore. I could not have known that I would be giving up some things and others would be taken from me. I gave up eating my friends. I lost my mom to cancer and my dad to someone and someplace far, far away from me. As I cleared those dirty dishes and washed the carcass of my friends into the trash, one last time…I could not possibly have known how my life was about to change. As I kissed my mom goodbye and hugged my dad under the garage door…as I hugged Shawn and JiSan “goodbye” and I drove away on that day…I could not have known all that would come to be of my life. We never truly do know what life has in store for us. We do run out of time. We do. People feel better somehow if we don’t run out of time…and so they say that we don’t. I am here to tell you that we actually do run out of time. So, make it count. Your time…your decisions…make them count. Be mindful of what you put into your body. If it shits, don’t eat it. Truly. For me, that was an easy gauge. I hope the simplicity of this helps you also, because it is that simple. If it has a face and it shits, it’s not yours to eat.

I am blessed to have learned that animals have just as much right to be here as I do. I am grateful to live in Sanctuary with so many beautiful and sentient beings. You may be astounded to know that I can eat whatever you eat and I can eat it vegan. If it’s not vegan, I won’t eat it at all.

My depression fucks with me a lot lately. I am struggling to stay afloat. Being vegan beings me some peace, as I know I have changed the world for some of them. I will spend the rest of my life fighting for the rest of them. For you see, we are all someone, not something. We each have every right to be here. If my depression takes me, at least it wasn’t someone else deciding that I was food, not friend. Truly, when did we decide that we got to decide for everyone, how things are? We have dominion over…we do not have control or reign or power over those without voices. Who told us that we had the right to crucify species after species after species for our own consumption and convenience? We did. We decided that we have no rules and they have no economic value…so fuck it…we decide. Look at us, deciding and shit. Egotistical, ignorant, insensitive and greedy as fuck…is the mentality that my appetite is more important than your life, isn’t it? I mean truly…that is some entitled and ignorant and ass backwards thinking and we are wrong. Plain and simple. We are wrong to slaughter millions of sentient beings for our own gratification…for sport…for our hunger and our taste in clothing and furniture. We cannot make this right…we just can’t. Excuses abound and generations pile, one on top of the other…doing it the way we have always fucking done it. Let me ask you something…How is the way we’ve always done it actually working for us? How is this entitlement and this superiority working out for us and our human counterparts? All you have to do is look around you to see that this isn’t working at all.

You will never catch me competing with you. Every single day though, you will see me fight like hell to be better than I was yesterday. From whom much is given, much is expected. I owe a great debt to the powers that be for my existence here, for my place and my peace and my work here. The debt can only ever be payed forward and it cannot ever be paid with the life of someone else. We each get what we get when we get it. Five years ago, I got it and I am forever changed. Go vegan. Truly…for yourself, for your health, for the planet…for each other…for your kids. I was pretty ignorant and naive…fuck, I still am…I would like to think that I have made a difference though, for someone, by being here.

Living a compassionate lifestyle includes more than eating a vegan diet, just as being sober means more than abstaining from drinking alcohol. When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. Friends, not food. Five years not eating my friends has softened my heart and I am so thankful. Five years of learning about the sentient beings in my life and cohabiting them…I cannot imagine how I was ever so thoughtless and reckless and careless. Being more connected now, I shudder at my own disconnect, for I knew not then what I have come to know now.

My life is blessed. I am blessed. I hurt, a lot. Depression keeps me struggling, until it doesn’t. I miss my mom. I miss my dad. Sometimes, I wish I were riding my bike around the block with my little brother, for hours and days on end…going everywhere and nowhere at all. Some days I really do miss my little family so, so much that it throws me into the abyss that swallows me for days. Depression seems to be the one thing I can’t just fucking quit…and every single day, until the day I don’t, I will battle it out. Being vegan has given me a lot of someone’s to fight for and so as best as I can, I stay. As much as I am able, when the calls come and I am needed, I answer. Getting out of me is the only thing that seems to save me at all, in times where I can’t get myself out of the abyss.

Five years ago, I started speaking for them and fighting for them and loving them like a verb. With the love and compassion and guidance of the most amazing vegan I know, I have learned so much. Thank you Tamara for loving me into compassionate space and for helping me to make more compassionate choices. Five years ago my life changed forever. My name is Coral and I am five years vegan tomorrow! For your soul, I encourage you to think about being vegan too. You will not know why you waited so long to assume a lifestyle that does not harm others. Your body will look and feel better. Your heart will open up. You will be better able to look in the mirror…I mean to really look in the mirror. Best of all, no one gets hurt for your appetite. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got today on being vegan. Inspired by my five year veganversary tomorrow…A post for us all to wake up and soften our hearts. Don’t trust me. Go out and try it for yourself! I love you! Have a beautiful day!

Thank you for your service Little Red! I love you!

Good morning everyone! I am happy to announce that we sold Little Red on Sunday! It was bittersweet driving her to her new home in Santa Fe. Every other trip to Santa Fe, Little Red has accompanied me home. For many years Little Red has been my brave companion of the road! We traveled many miles together and took many trips together. If loving Little Red is wrong, I don’t want to be right! I am so grateful for the gift my little Brother gave me all of those years ago, when I lost everything I had except for my house. Shawn signed her title over to me and made her mine. Sunday I signed her title over and made her new owner very happy, when I made Little Red hers. New to me vehicles are the best…all nicely broken in and personalized…and all yours to discover! Enjoy getting to know Little Red and thank you for loving the animals so, so much! It may sound ridiculous, and so I’ll say it loudly and with all of my heart, I’m really glad that Little Red got a good home! I want Little Red to have the best rest of her life too! Thank you for your service Little Red! I love you my dear old friend!

I am making a personal donation to the fundraiser that Chris set up for a new Sanctuary truck for the animals here at Santuario de Karuna. Little Red sold for $3000 and I am donating $3010.00. I am doing this for a very specific and simple reason, and it is this; All gave some and some gave all. Little Red was all I own outright in this world, and I struggled to let her go. I need to pay off FJ (that’s her new name by the way…FJ), and so I listed Little Red on Craigslist for half of what I owe on FJ. I sold her for $3000 and held her for three weeks for the guy who wanted her so much. I got a call the night before I was to sell her and he could no longer buy her. At first, my heart sank. I am pretty attached to FJ you see, and I’m letting go of Little Red too. I was in the midst of losing any security I felt that I had. I really wanted to use that money towards getting the title to FJ. As often happens to me, my best laid plans are derailed. I was driving home and as clearly as anything ever, I knew that Little Red did not belong to me. Little Red was gifted to me and many people helped me to care for and maintain her while I had her. To Shawn and everyone when helped me to maintain her, thank you so much! My Mom and Dad put a lot into her too and so letting her go feels like letting go of a piece of both of them, which is probably the true reason I had such a hard time letting her go. Having lost them, letting her go felt like losing them all over again, in a way. Thank you Mom and Dad and Shawn and countless others who journeyed with Little Red and I. Truly, I needed you and you came through. Thank you. I have been so blessed…so, so blessed. To whom much is given, much is expected, as Tamara always reminds me. So it is with great pleasure and with all of my heart that I donate all of the proceeds from Little Red and one of the last dollars in my bank account, to get a new truck for the Sanctuary. My first ever large donation of $3010.00 to Santuario de Karuna, to go toward the purchase of a new truck for my very dearest friends here at the Sanctuary! I even had to call my bank and have a supervisor override my spending limits! Who knew?!

On behalf of my little Brother Shawn and myself, we donate the proceeds from the truck that became not only my transportation, but also the Sanctuary truck for as long as she could keep up. When I had no way to get to and from work, Shawn gave his truck to me…free and clear and without strings. I pay it forward now for the beautiful beings that I share my beautiful life with, here at Santuario de Karuna. Thank you Shawn and Little Red for bringing color and beauty to my world. Thank you for teaching me what it means to be gifted, and for allowing me the feeling of gifting her forward.

To everyone who has donated so far, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts! We love you! Please keep sharing and donating to help us to reach our goal. It would mean the world to me if you could help us to get the animals their truck! Thank you! I love you! Have a beautiful day!

Check us out on Facebook at Santuario de Karuna and donate there! You are welcome to come out and meet the animals, schedule a tour, become a monthly donor, become a volunteer. We would love to have you be a part of our compassionate community!

Each of us has a choice every day. Moments present themselves and we are called to act. I was gifted an opportunity to see firsthand that from whom much is given, much is expected. Tamara has said this to me many times and I get it now. Thank you baby. So, so many lessons and so, so many blessings for my girl and I lately.

Godspeed Little Red! Thank you for the hundreds of thousands of miles that you traveled with me! Thank you for getting me to and fro and for keeping me safe and warm for all of these years! Thank you to a very generous and beautiful friend of the Sanctuary, who purchased Little Red, to help the animals of Santuario de Karuna!

Have a beautiful day everyone! Be the change you wish to see in the world! I dare you!

A Sherry lesson on “Some gave all” this morning.

Happy Sunday everyone! This morning we are blessed with a “Sherry Lesson” that came to me driving home yesterday. I had an amazing day yesterday with beautiful friends and on my way home, as I prayed, my Mom came through so clearly that I had to share with each of you, this life lesson from my beautiful mom! Welcome to the healing room! I hope you have your coffee and Kleenex in hand, as Sherry nailed it this morning!

For me, as you know, the struggle has been real. As of recent, my father and I are estranged except for snail mail correspondence. The man I love more than any other, and myself have turned our situation over to God, as we simply cannot handle it on our own. We cannot speak civilly to one another right now. Angry and betrayed and hurt enough…I almost hit my own father. I have no clearer sign that I must walk away to save us both right now. We cannot share our lives and so we have gone our separate ways, only bound by the love in our hearts for one another. I pray that love is enough. I pray that no matter who or what or where I go…no matter what does or does not happen, with all of my heart, I pray that my Daddy always knows my love for him; for nothing will ever change my love for you my father. Nothing can ever take from me the love I have in my heart for you, not even you. I love you. I miss you. I turn it over to God, and I ask for prayers and blessings for our broken little family. This is the first time in my life, ever, that I have strayed from my father. This is the first time ever that I have had courage enough to stand up for what is right and then to stand down and be done fighting what I cannot understand or control. And so I set it down. I let go and I let God.

As many of you know, my Mom was a force to be reckoned with. A powerhouse of a woman in a tiny little package…a southern twang in her voice that wasn’t actually southern at all, always made her presence known. Accompanied by the clickety click of her 👠 high heels, Yes, Sherry was a force all her own. So yesterday while driving home, when she clicked her way in, I prepared a place. This is the most valuable Sherry Lesson you will ever get, so go fill up that coffee cup and let’s get ready!

My parents have been such a huge part of my lives, all of my lives. My best friends and my confidants, to an unhealthy point, rendering me extremely co-dependent and financially dependent upon throughout my life. I won’t go into detail as it matters not, I only say anything because Sherry wants us all to learn from this. I could always make that call and get myself bailed out. I could always get some help if the fruits of my labor didn’t cut it. I always had my mom and dad. I do not have my mom and dad anymore and I am thankful, for it is teaching me to rely on me, to trust and to know me. The silver spoon being yanked out of my mouth busted a few teeth and left me breathless and hurting beyond my own comprehension, and I am thankful for I now now my own strength.

With that being said, all that I own in this entire world, outright, is Little Red, my 1996 Toyota T-100 truck. When my ex-wife left me in 2008 and took, literally everything I own, I ended up having to voluntarily repossess my brand new and beautiful black FJ Cruiser back to the credit union. I drove her to the credit union and I told them I was so sorry and I handed them the keys. I was without transport and I was broken. My little brother saw me and he gifted me the truck he bought to haul his motorcycles on, so that I would have a car to drive. Shawn signed the title over and said I owed him nothing. I have driven little red for the past eleven years. Little Red is a piece of my own heart, a gift from my baby brother, so that I didn’t lose everything else too. Thank you Shawn for seeing me and for loving me like a verb. I love you baby brother.

Before my mom died, on her death bed actually, she said she wanted me to have a brand new Jeep! A bit much I thought and I said so. After my mom died, my dad and I were looking at vehicles for me and we ended up finding the exact same one, the beautiful 2007 FJ Cruiser that I am driving now. We went and drove her and then we went right to the credit union, looking homeless as hell, both of us, and got her financed. That story is one of my fondest memories and Sherry was so happy the day I drove her home! My FJ is still financed and I own just under $6000 on her. I had Little Red sold on Friday for $3000. I was elated, as that put me halfway to paying her off. Thursday night I got a text from the guy I held Little Red for, for three weeks, that he could no longer buy her. Long story short, Little Red and my FJ are both here and neither one of them, nor Tamara’s Jeep are enough for what Santuario de Karuna needs. We have 42 animals here, several of them weighing in over 1500 pounds. Little Red, not Big Red, cannot handle the loads that we must haul to give everyone what they need. We need more and I was praying in this yesterday, when Sherry came through loud and clear.

Sherry simply said that “some gave all. All gave some and some gave all” she repeated to me. I was puzzled at first, I won’t lie. My dilemma, the one warping my fucking mind…the one I’m twisting and trying so desperately to make fit…she says simply, “it is what it is.” What in the literal fuck? I’m praying here! If you’ve no contribution, could you come back later? I need to figure out how to sell Little Red and pay of this FJ…..and she says, “You do not need to sell your truck Coral Dawn. You know what you need to do with Little Red.” Only I didn’t know and she didn’t tell me before she left again. What in the fuck?

As I drove closer to home, I remembered laying next to her on her death bed. I could not have known it then, that I would never hear the click of those heels 👠 or that twang in her voice again. I would never have her to help me to sort it out or pay it off again. I lost both of my lifelines and my own life that day, on that bed with her, before she left here for good. We had to make her funeral arrangements on that bed. We had to decide how to let her go because she was going and nothing stopped that. In lieu of flowers, my mom chose Santuario de Karuna, for all donations. My mom loved flowers as much as anyone I ever knew and she gave up her final bouquets on this earth for the animals here at Santuario de Karuna, so we could keep our promise to make the rest of their lives the best of their lives. On my moms deathbed, she saw me. My mom saw Tamara and I and our dream and on her way out, she did all she could to make this dream come true! Sherry gave it all. Every single last bit of it, to Santuario de Karuna, as she left this world. All she had left to offer is right here in this space that we all call home.

Today, in true Sherry fashion, I give all I’ve got to Santuario de Karuna too. Literally, the only thing I actually own, Little Red, I gift to our Sanctuary and to the animals here, to get them what they need. “Some gave all Coral Dawn. All gave some and some gave all. Follow your heart and do what you know to be right with your soul.”

Anyone who knows me at all knows that if all are giving some and only some are giving all, I am going to figure out how to be one of the ones who gives it all! So today, on behalf of my little brother Shawn and myself, I gift my precious Little Red to the fundraiser, so that we can purchase a truck big enough to care for everyone here. Whatever we make from the sale of Little Red will go directly into the fundraiser that our dear brother Chris put up for us. And so it is. Sherry reminds us that it is what it is. It will only ever, always be what it is. I don’t know what your “Some” is, or your “all”. I only came to tell you that by giving all I’ve got to give, I am beginning to find myself. I highly recommend giving all you’ve got! Thank you mom for the lesson, turned immediately blessing on my drive home to our beautiful Santuario yesterday…”Some gave all Coral Dawn. All gave some and some gave all…”

Happy Sunday everyone! Only you know what to do with the messages the angels send. Sherry reminds each of you, just the same as she reminded me…”Some gave all. All gave some and some gave all. For your own growth, for your own journey, be the one who gives it all!”

We each have the privilege and the opportunity to be of service. We have the ability to be in our community. We have the power to build up our community. We have an animal sanctuary right in our own backyard, literally! And we are all welcome here, Always, We are home here, aren’t we? We are in Sanctuary here. Why not be a part of the community? A true and literal part of something that you believe in? Volunteer. Donate. Share. Commit to $10 a month and be a sponsor. Check out our Facebook page and meet these amazing beings. Come out here and meet them. Help us feed them! For you…do this for you. I cannot tell you how glad I am that I do this!

If you would like to become a monthly donor, a one time donor , a volunteer or a visitor to our Sanctuary, we would love to hear from you! Right now, if you have the means, we would love for you to donate to the fundraiser that our brother Chris has set up right now, to get a new truck that will provide for all of the beautiful beings here. Check us out on Facebook and please donate and follow us! We would love to have you be a part of our compassionate community! All are welcome here!

Santuario de Karuna is on Facebook! I will do a separate post with the fundraiser link after I post this morning’s blog. Please help out if you can!

I love you! Have a beautiful Sunday everyone! Thank you for being in the healing room with Sherry and I this morning!

Thank you for bringing color to my world…

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you had a beautiful day of love yesterday! I had a beautiful day of love and I feel so, so blessed.

I won’t lie, there was a sting yesterday…an emptiness of things gone before. A void where my Mom and Dad once were…a sadness that could not be consoled. I sat silently all evening, gazing off into the nothingness…bringing my mind back in from wandering through times behind me, as much as possible. Thinking of Valentines Days gone from me, I began again yesterday, to make this day my day of love. All of my love and gratitude for those who loved me so much, those whom are gone from me now. To my Mom in heaven, Happy Valentines Day Mom. I missed your strawberry cake and your cream puffs…your velvet heart box of chocolate candy and your beautiful red roses and glittery card. I miss you mom. I love you.

I cannot not feel as I’m feeling. I am doing my best to just sit with it and let it have its way with me until it passes. I am trying not to ask why and I am trying not to hurt. The truth is, I do hurt. I hurt so fucking bad that I can barely breathe. I hurt so deeply that I am paralyzed sometimes, and all I can muster the strength to do is to sit and stare into the nothingness. Wipe the tears from my cheeks and release the lump in my throat, and let it pass. I do this all of the time, to acknowledge the pain and to give it its space and then to set it free.

I could never have known how things would come to be. Nothing could have prepared me for the lies and the deception…the horror that rocked my life…the horror that embodied my life and held me in its grip for so long. I could never have heard the words, still unuttered, even as they ricochet through my mind and annihilate my very troubled soul. On Valentine’s Day, in the midst of amazing love, I just could not let go of the absence of love that brought me here. The candy heart conversations have ceased and the chocolate has all been eaten…the roses have wilted away and died…the cards stopped coming and the time is behind us. A life cut short too soon, to ever have the conversation I have always needed the most. Inside of me there is the conversation I will never have, with a person who is gone, about what in the fuck happened to me and my life. Yesterday, the reality hit me like a ton of little candy hearts…it is finished. It is all finished. There is nothing I can do. There is absolutely nothing I can do with all I have come to know. I’ve been carrying all of these bits and pieces around with me, praying they will somehow come together. These jagged little pieces will never come together, for they are not my pieces, and they never fucking were my pieces. I have been cutting myself on the shards of someone else. I have been left bleeding and scarred horribly by someone else’s transgressions. As I wade through the bullshit and the rhetoric, I begin to see the light of my new day. As my eyes open and I come to know the truth, my eyes fill up with tears and my heart starts to break in two…I shut it down. I think enough has been taken from me already. Enough love…enough time…enough of me…enough of being too much and of not being enough…enough of being an empty and hollow little valentine. Running along with Cupid, shooting my little Cupid bow and arrow..rallying up the love of the masses, with my lifeless and loveless and broken little heart. Enough! Enough! Enough!

I have based who I am upon where I came from. I have defined myself by the life that I was born into and to the ides of those who brought me here. I have adapted their stories and paid their debts…I have survived the unsurvivable. All of this, to be with all of you right now. Had one moment been different…had one horror not have happened, I would not be with you this morning. And so, for all of it…every single bit of it, this morning I bow and give thanks. I am so grateful for everyone and everything in my life, for it has brought me home to you.

I rise and I fall. I ebb and I flow. I try and I come up short. I hit and I miss. I wake up again and I give it all I’ve got to give. I am here for a purpose and I intend to fulfill my dharma. I will live my life from a new plateau now…from a heightened space where I can see and know the world around me. No longer lost in the crowd, I have become the stage. Let us all stand up here together and love this world back to good again.

Your past…no matter who you are, myself especially, is your past. It is behind you for a reason. Your parents, like my parents…they are just people. Flawed and fucked up and dysfunctional as all get out. Your nightmares are my own and the horror…I survived it too. The flashbacks and the blackouts…the PTSD and the trauma…yep, we share that also. And guess what, we fucking earned it! We earned our stripes, didn’t we, you and I? So why do we try so hard to hide our stripes? Why do we hide the very best of who we are behind the veils and the evils of those who refused to do their own fucking work? Why are we not shredding this fucking veil already? Why are we still standing behind it like it’s going to lift itself…like someone is coming to save us? There is no one coming to save us. There has never been anyone coming to save us my friends. We must save ourselves. Only we can save us now. Only we have ever been able to save ourselves. Knowing this and accepting this shall be the foundation for my life. There are no others.

As blessed as I am and as much as I am loved, sometimes the lesser loves that I have lost along the way, still hurt me. As much as I am, sometimes I forget. As far as I have come…I often fail to cheer myself on!. As much as I have, I often find myself wanting more. As much as all of this hurts, I am so thankful for the lessons. I am beyond thankful to have the most amazing girl on the world to love me no matter what…for amazing friends and dedicated and gifted angel therapists and doctors, placing their hands and intentions in me to heal the pain that a lifetime can no longer ignore. I am thankful that Shawn is back because of all the things I have ever lost, I missed my baby brother the very most. Through all of everything, my baby brother has meant so much to me and I thank God that we found our way back to one another.

Today, most of all…this girl is fucking blessed and so thankful for the love and abundance and beauty in her life! You are part of my color and part of my beauty and I am so glad you are here with me this morning! I love you! Have a beautiful day!

Done and fucking done and it feels so good!

Good morning everyone. I will be really honest with you this morning. I am not in a good space. My heart hurts. I am sick of fucking waking up like this. I am tired. My reality is what it is and my experience of it right now fucking sucks for me. That is who I write about…me. My experiences  and how I feel. I am not only hurting a lot, I am mending a lifetime of fucking abuse and delusion. Delusions of fucking grandeur and so it’s taking me a bit for it to all sink in.

I will begin by saying that I love my Dad and my little Brother more than you can possibly fucking imagine. I love my mom so much that I have spent three years in literal hell since her passing. My love for my family, the three of them, is unfucking matched. Probably fair to say that it’s been unhealthy, co-dependent and strained at times, with all three of them. My Mother is dead. My father is re-married and I am happy for him and for Cheryll. I won’t claim to know Cheryll, as we have only just met. Cheryll has been wonderful to me and kind to me during my body and my life falling apart. Cheryll is sorting through Sherry with my dad and she seems to make my Dad happy. Anyone who will sit with someone and help someone to sort through a lifetime of someone else’s things…anyone who will hold another through that is good in my book. I love Cheryll and I believe that Cheryll loves me. So, just to clear any misunderstanding up that may exist, I am not at war with my Dad. I do not dislike and never have disliked Cheryll. I love my little brother. I love my mom. I wasn’t not at my dads wedding because he was marrying someone other than my mom. I’m not sure where that load of horseshit came from…possibly and probably even, out of my fathers own mouth. Maybe that is how my dad heard it. Here is the truth, just to set things straight (and I never fucking do that);

My mom and dad and I journeyed very closely together for most of my adult life. The three of us just got along and enjoyed going to Vegas and happy hour and lunch and dinner. My mom made me choose between she and my Dad and my relationships with women, as they were not welcome (they, my lovers, partners, girlfriends) in our home. When they were, I had to promise that we were just friends. I choose my parents a lot more than I care to admit, over amazing women in my life simply because it didn’t feel like a choice at all. The choice had been made and unless I was willing to lie, they were not welcome. I honestly never did not choose my Mom, not until Tamara. I won’t lie, that was a bit strained too. My mom was often very unkind to me, and Tamara wasn’t silent about it like everyone before her. My mom respected Tamara for it and was only able to leave this world because Tamara had me. So, don’t hear me wrong…I love my mom. I always have and I always will. The woman was not kind to me. She was down right fucking mean to me and many of you know that because you witnessed it too. I do not love her any less but god damnit it hurts to love someone who hurt me so fucking deeply. It is hard to re-live Groundhog Day every fucking day. It fucking destroyed me and it still does, how that woman treated me and he contempt she often had for me. Do I love her just the same? You bet your sweet fucking ass that I do and I always will. My life though and my experience of my life…my life has always fucking hurt me.

So, with that being said, no one ever defended me. No one. Not my Dad. Not my little brother. Not my extended family. Not me, a lot of the time. When I did, it never ended well although it did end my mom talking to me at all, for days on end. I do not say this to dishonor my mom or my dad or my little brother or my family. I say this because it is my experience of my life, and my life has hurt me a lot. My blog is so fucking edited about my own life and I’m pretty done doing that. I still keep silent as to not say something bad or inappropriate about people. My truth may  hurt people and that is not my intent. In fact, let me just say now that I’ve no intent to hurt anyone or to dishonor my mom or my dad or my brother. I will however, not be silent. There could not be a person anywhere that has loved the three of them more than me. My mom knew that. My dad knows that. Shawn once knew that. I don’t know what Shawn knows about that anymore. As far as I know, They don’t read my blog, except my mom, who helps me to have the courage to write it, especially blogs like this where I speak MY truth even as my voice is fucking shaking. My dad and I and Cheryll and I and Shawn and I and JiSan and I are good, as far as I know. We are family by name and not in action, at least not the same action that “family” has always been in my life.

Since my mom died, so did Thanksgiving and Christmas. No one in our family called me up and invited me over for Thanksgiving dinner. No one. Nor Christmas. My Birthday was a big deal to my mom and without her, my Birthday has become void and painful. So, my family, dysfunctional as it may have been, that I have known and never really been a part of, for my entire fucking life is gone, with very few exceptions. Those exceptions are priceless and you know who you are and you are now my chosen family. Those of you who are family by blood or marriage, who have my same last name or don’t who have always loved me, I know who you are and you know who you are too, and I fucking love you. The rest of you, who call yourself family, who use that as some sort of fucking hold on me and do and have never done anything to love me like a verb or nurture me, here is a newsflash…you are not my family. Three years my mom has been gone and we’ve not celebrated a holiday since. You’ve not called me or reached out to me or loved me once…Sherry’s precious little daughter, since she fucking died. So, don’t bother. Truly, I am living with it and have been my whole life. Now you can live without it. I am done being “family” and not being family at all. I expect to see my “friends” list drop some more and I invite you to leave if you’ve never really been here at all anyway. I do not need the hurt of being where I am not wanted…where I do not belong and where I am not accepted. No hard feelings. No need to keep on keeping on at something that never was anyway.

I will write my story. You can read it or not. This is my blog, for me, for us all. I do not have any intention of harming anyone ever with what I write. I will not be silent anymore though. I will not pretend anymore. I will not attend funerals anymore of people who have been dead to me my whole life. I wish you all well. I really, really do. I also bid you farewell so that I may be Coral and not who all of you tried to shame me into being. Same thing with my “friends”…truly. If we aren’t, then we aren’t. If we are, then let’s be. This facade is killing my fucking soul and so I cut it loose and take this mask of.

My blog is my blog and my Facebook wall is my wall. I write and I post what I fucking want to post. If you don’t like it, don’t fucking look at it. Don’t come on my wall and fucking ridicule me for who and what I like. Fuck off man, truly…just fuck off. Have I ever come on to your page, ever, and spewed my shit?

Lady Gaga isn’t a fucking vegan! Distasteful and raw and uncouth. Meat suits and furs and no I’m not impressed. None of my fucking business to call the woman names because she isn’t me and doesn’t live as I do or see what I see. Lady Gaga is an amazing actress and an amazing song writer and musician and preformer. For all that she is not, there is much that she is. For all of you with your filthy words and judgement of her on my page, check yourself. Is your favorite musician vegan? Is your favorite actress vegan? Do you listen to the music of people who are not in alignment with your values? Do you drive a car? Do you have a laptop or a cell phone? If you answered  “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re not so vegan yourself. Live and let live. Go sweep your own side of the street and kind your own fucking business and stop trolling pages to start fucking controversy. Just shut the fuck up and go work in you. Lady Gaga doesn’t give a fuck what you think anyway. The woman is a human being, being human, just like you and me. Unlike many of us, she is doing something. Be the fucking change and stop trying to change others.

Am I upset? You bet your ass I’m upset. To live in a family, in a world with such potential, who refuses to embrace and love me for who I am…I am fucking devastated. I have been devastated for my whole fucking life by people who do not love me one fucking fraction of how much I love them. Love me like you fucking mean it, like a verb, or please step away from me and let me find my tribe. If you are not my tribe, please step aside, stand down…move over…get the fuck out of the way, because I’ve big work to do. Making me small did not make you big and it did not make me small either. You have no idea what greatness I am, what greatness I have always fucking been.

This is the last moment that I associate myself with anyone who does not treat me like someone. Your hatefulness and emptiness and bitterness…your blame and your unaccountability…your abusiveness and dismissiveness…your lies and your inadequacy in the face of your own mirror…you deal with yours and I’ll deal with mine. And so it is.

As always, I write to heal myself and I take what I need and leave the rest, as I encourage you to do the same.

My closing prayer;

Thank you for the lessons as they become obvious blessings. Thank you for my Dad and please help me to release my expectations of the past of him, that we may find our new path forward together in love and light…in honesty and truth…as Daddy’s girl for always. Please continue to guide my love and my path with Cheryll. Please always keep my little brother safe and content. Please bless JiSan and let her feel my love. Please help me to be discerning when assembling my tribe. Please let me be forgiving as all things not for my highest good fall away from me. Please allow me only the option of being kind as I release my need to be right. Please bless everyone in loving abundance for their place on my journey. Please show me the way and lead me out of the darkness and into the light. As those who no longer belong here fall away and leave my space, please protect my heart, and give me comfort in knowing that it is time. Please give them comfort and protect their hearts also. Please remind me that it is the quality and not the quantity of the people and the things in my life that matter. Please use me as an instrument to do your work and speak your word, even when and especially when my voice shakes. May I always, in always be in abundant and heartfelt gratitude. As abundance unfolds around me and the past falls away from me, I step forward for my assignment. I come forth and I thank you for bringing me to this place. Please always protect Tamara and our tribe, our animals and the land and beings we guardian for you. Please keep the Sanctuary in sanctity and peace at all times and protect those who enter and reside here, that it always, in all ways be protected as sacred land and treated as such. And so it is, in your name. Amen.

Sunday Coral ramblings…

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Good morning everyone! Happy Sunday! I asked Alexa to play songs by Ram Dass this morning as I write. I am so drawn to Him, to his story and his writings. I just ordered his book, “Be Here Now”. I saw Nahko reference Ram Dass this morning as I visited his web page, and I was reminded that I needed to get this book. I order books and then I don’t read them, because I get so busy. Lately, it’s more because I don’t feel well enough. Anyway…suffice to say that I always have great excuses for not reading the books I buy. I am dedicated to reading this one.

I was looking at Tony Robbins and I was trying my hardest to figure out how to go and see him. I looked at dates and costs and something held me back. I was pumped and so I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t moving on it. The money? Obviously and of course, and yet it was more subtle and less obvious than just the money. In all of this looking, Ram Dass kept popping up everywhere, even more than Tony Robbins, and it feels right, for me, for right now. Ram Dass and his teachings and his Maui retreat…they are very much in my awareness, shifting more into my consciousness, and I am so at ease and comfortable knowing that this is my next step, with Ram Dass, however that looks.

My situation with my surgery and my unaddressed pre-op pain, now piled on top by my post-op pain has me going a bit mad. The physical pain and turmoil has me in a state that feels uncomfortable. I am in so much pain the last couple of days that movement just hurts. Sweating and chilling and smelling foul…feeling irritable and tired, like sleeping is more passing out than resting, really. Chronic pain accompanied by her BFF depression, coupled with PTSD…a mother fucking doozie…oh, yes and let us not forget, my deceased Mom that I have hardly taken the time to mourn…

My memories…a few hours sitting across the table yesterday from eyes like mine, pain and loss like mine…with my little Brother who has been just as gone and even more inaccessible to me, than our deceased Mother, since she died less than three years ago. My little Brother and I his big sister, all we have left of our Mom. Estranged in turmoil and unresolved conflict and conversations never spoken, exacerbated and further out of reach when we lost our Mom, in the same house, in the same moment in time, and a million miles away from and almost comple separate from one another. We sat Together in the same church and we buried her together, not together, in the same cemetery, on the same day. Before our Mom got sick and way before she died, we had lost our way to one another. Losing our Mom just made it impossible for a while, at least for me, to reach my little Brother. When he reached for me, I knew how to do that. I have always known how to reach back for him when he really needed me. We lost our way. In so many ways, we never stood a fucking chance. We were told who and how to be. We were surrounded by “family” that didn’t love or treat us like family and we were none the fucking wiser. Hypocrites and the self righteous sat at our tables and swam in our kiddie pools with us. We did as we were told. We minded our manners and we love and respect our elders. Please and Thank you…yes and no sir…we were so well behaved. We were good kids and we had good parents. We had a big family that loved us. We know how to mind. We know how to be seen and not heard. We know invisible. We have been invisible. For me, our most dangerous invisibility has been toward one another. We know each other, Shawn and I, and we always have. Even when people told us how we felt about one another, we knew better. We lost our ability to tell each other how we felt. We lost or more accurately, never knew, how to communicate effectively, with one another in conflict. We communicated best with alcohol…at least I did. Without the alcohol and with all of the conflict, I guess I couldn’t find my words. Without my Mom, I could not find anything other than my deepest and darkest pain and a lifetime worth of uncried tears and unresolved pain and conflict. Every day, at least a few times, I missed my little Brother, right along with our deceased Mother. They were gone and so I put all I had left into my Father. We were taught, Family first and I tried it like I learned it. My family was gone though. There were four of us. And then there were three…and then there were two and two…and then there were one and one and one…

My world feels foggy. My pain isn’t really on a chart anymore. I mean, Sigrid pointed out earlier this week to me, that we don’t really have a pain chart, not with our pain and our pain tolerance. Our pain tolerance is an odd thing, and I’m not even sure I can explain it. It definitely is not explained or encompassed on a 1-10 chart though…at least not for me. 10 is not 10, and it really isn’t 15 either, because 15 doesn’t exist on the “standard” pain chart. Nothing about me is standard or orthodox or politically correct. I am Coral. I am Sam. I give a fuck, I really do, except for when I’ve no fucks left to give…at which point, I just stop letting you know that I give a fuck…even though I still do, in actuality, give a fuck.

Anyway…thank you Ram Dass for this morning’s inspiration. Thank you Shawn for figuring “us”out with me. However that looks, and however we figure it out, I am glad we are finally figuring it out. Thank you Tamara and JiSan for loving us through this and for helping us through the worst pain of our lives. Thank you JiSan for holding space for me, and for loving me through it from a distance. Thank you Tamara for loving me and letting me do and be and feel and think and say whatever the fuck I need to as I sort my life and all of this fucking pain out. Thank you to my biological family that stuck around and who love me me like a verb. Thank you to those who left, who never, not for one single solitary second (my Mom used to say that…for emphasis…not sure why, but I just remembered it and wanted to try it myself)…loved me at all, much less loved me like a verb. My Mom died…you didn’t…you just fucking took that opportunity to leave, and all I’ve to say to that is don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you on your way out of my fucking life. Be gone. Be well. Be forgiven and mostly, yes, just be gone. My life is my life to create and mine to piece back together. If you are not here helping that effort, please find your way to that door.

As always, thank you for being here this morning. Thank you for spending this time with me in our healing room. Please take what you need and let’s send he rest back to the universe, to be recycled for the greater good of us all, shall we? And so it is.

Let me see what you’ve got this morning!

Good morning everyone! Couldn’t help it, woke up to My Christmas music for this morning’s meditation. As I sit in this healing room, I light up all of those candles for us all. Sitting in the glow and basking in the love, listening to the hum of this song..I swear to God, I am feeling the healing! I feel my Mom stroking my face and wiping all of these tears from my face. Sitting right next to my Mom, with all of this love in my heart, I ask her to hit me with all of the love she can, so I can bring it here for all of us. Fill me and overfill me, I tell her, and then add some more please. I need all I can carry. I need help carrying all of it. Let’s deck the halls in here, shall we? Let’s all take a moment this morning and visualize being in Christmas Eve service together…let’s hold hands and sing together…let’s love each other more than we have ever loved each other before. As open as we can be, as wide open as we can possibly be…let that love in you guys! I bring the one thing in that opened my Mom…Christmas, to illuminate the way for us this morning. We all have different memories and I’ll just ask you to pick your very best memory right now…your very best one, from your whole life.

As always, everyone go out there and take the time you need. Go find your very best memory and maybe even a song that goes with that memory, and bring it back to circle when you’re done. I know we all have at least one, and I want to emphasize, I want your very best one. A memory that nothing in this life has tainted, at all. Your moment…the one you’ve tucked away, so worn out that it’s fragility is somewhat concerning to you. That’s the one! The one you just grabbed that brought a childlike smile across your face…bring that one back to circle with you now.

Okay…looks like everyone is back, and look at these awesome treasures! Truly, beneath the dust and years, look at that sparkle! Dull as fuck and needing a good polishing…these are some relics here my friends! These are some beauties! Go ahead, lick your fingertip And write your name in the dust. Look at that shine in those letters! Look at your name, light up like a marquee! Fucking beautiful you guys! These are some glorious treasures!

Today, we begin, each of us, with our most precious memory. I have mine. It just so happens to be Christmas with my Mom and Dad and little brother…my Moms Mom and Dad are sitting around the tree, in front of the fire, waiting for Shawn and I to come out and see what Santa left for us. As we round the corner from the hall, peeking into the den, I can feel the softness of the lights. I feel the all of the anticipation of my little heart, just about to explode, from the excitement of it all. I have my little brothers hand in my hand. I smell the coffee and all of the baked goods my Mom bakes every year, in the background. My little pink ball, illuminated by a single light and my little Brother…my Mom and my Dad and my Mamma and my Pappa…everything I in the whole world that meant everything to me…all right here with me…and hey, that was Christmas to me…dusting it off and singing along, allowing the tears to flow freely and washing off the stains of the years with them, I polish this memory. Spit and shine…I want this one lit up perfectly! This is the one…the memory that stopped my beating heart for a moment this morning…this is the good stuff. This morning, that is all we are interested in…all we are looking at and all we are taking with us out into our day today…the good stuff!

Let’s see yours! Look at that sparkle! This is the time to commit to never letting anyone or anything, ever, dull your sparkle again. These are our treasures! No one can ever take them from us. We just shared them and look how they multiply. Look at the soft and reflective smiles on everyone’s faces, the soft tears and everyone’s favorite Christmas song in cue, to play next…tell me, which song is yours? These are some great songs, also bringing more good memories…let’s turn the music up and sit around this campfire together. Grab your cup of coffee and your blanket and come sit by me. I don’t know why, but I want to hold your hand…is that okay? Just for this moment, can we just have a huge ass slumber party? Can we all just please stay here, in this glorious moment together, for just a few moments more?

Yes. Yes, we can stay here, as long as we like. Work will wait. Your spouse and your kids will wait. The dogs, not patiently, and they will wait too. Just let it all sit there for a few minutes, while you revel in your good stuff. It may or may not be Christmas and this moment may have been hard for you to come by this morning, so you’re okay to stay here a moment more.

Look around you. What do you see and how does it make you feel? That sliver of a smile and that glimmer of hope, that is all we need, to keep this fire going. Pass it on…one of my favorite songs from campfire as a kid…Pass it on…

It only takes a spark to get a fire going

And soon all those around can warm up to its glowing

That’s how it is with God’s love

Once you’ve experienced it

You spread your love to everyone

You want to pass it on

What a wondrous time is spring when all the trees are budding

The birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming

That’s how it is with God’s love

Once you’ve experienced it

You want to sing, it’s fresh like spring

You want to pass it on

I wish for you my friend, this happiness that I’ve found

You can come join in, it matters not where you’re bound

I’ll shout it from the mountain tops

I want the world to know

The joy of friends has come to me

I want to pass it on

Pass It On Kurt Kaiser 1969 EMI Christian Music Group

It only takes a spark, to keep a fire going. Look at all of these sparks…look at all of these master fire tenders…who brought the stuff for s’mores? A around you at all of this love. Feel all of us, in our best memories, with Christmas music and old country music playing gently and wafting through the air between us…wait, is that your song? How did I know that you picked that one? Great choice and one of my favorites as well!

Look at us! Would you just look at us! Healing and smiling and loving each other. This is our healing room and this is how we heal. We heal by being broken so that we may be open to being mended. We fall here, in this safe place, so that we can go out there and rise where we are needed! We break and fall apart…our guts spill all around us, so that we can observe, all of us, inside out, look pretty much the same, don’t we?

For today, I challenge you, to live inside out. All day, no masks, no facades…no bullshit…just you. No sarcasm and no petty bullshit…today, you are mindful, so fucking mindful, that we are here to walk each other home. No blame and no judgement…no anger and no fear…today, we bring Christmas morning with us out of this healing space and we share with our world. I know this sounds crazy, but I challenge you to take this moment with you, all day today. I want you to stop what you are doing right now and play your favorite Christmas song…your all time favorite, best one. Even better, go to my FB timeline, and just tag me…with your very favorite Christmas song…let’s keep this going today…no words unless you want to, and you don’t have to share. If you want to though, I would love for my wall to blow up with your favorite Christmas tunes all day long today! That’s Christmas to me…today, is our day and we can do what we want! I want to hear your favorite Christmas music flooding my timeline…and go!!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!

I miss my little Brother today…

I am in a rough place today, and so I write. To escape my pain…to try to make sense of it all…try make myself small and invisible, in a hole somewhere, safe from human hands…safe from human beings.

I retreat into a time where riding big wheels with my best friend was all that really mattered in life. He and I rode for miles and miles, for days and days, all around the world…just by circling and recircling our neighborhood block.

We had stories of all of our neighbors…stories we knew nothing about. One of our neighbors, whom we affectionately named Alfred Hitchcock, scared us half to death, and yet we crossed the forbidden threshold of his driveway on our big wheels anyway.

We imagined their lives as we played make believe in our own lives, circling that block together, for hundreds of hours…going nowhere and going everywhere, all at the same time.

He and I did everything together and I think that I thought that it would always be that way. I had no reason not to and it always was that way…until it wasn’t that way anymore.

We dreamed big in our small little world. We made big forts and took big trips on our bikes, over dunes and dips and valleys. We soared over arroyos and solved life’s problems in a single bound.

We played cars. We played dress up and I always made Shawn wear my Moms clothes, while I sported my Dads suits and ties. (I’m sorry Shawn) We had meetings and agendas, forts and playhouses. We romped the neighborhood on Shawn’s Kamikaze skateboard…only the coolest skateboard ever made.

We dug holes to China and made gourmet mud pies. We confided our top secrets in one another. We were inseparable and we seemed to like it that way. On my visit to Portales on Monday, I was reminded and captivated by the love that my little Brother and I always had for one another, as I circled the block, just one more time, to stay with my long lost best friend, of so many years ago, for just another minute or two.

We were the best of the best friends. He called me “Sister”, because I forbid him to call me Coral. I’ve no fucking idea what that was about, but even to this day, when Shawn is hurting or being affectionate, he still calls me sister.

We both grew up and moved away. We began our own lives and for a while, we stayed in pretty constant contact. Our lives brought us both back to Albuquerque, but we are worlds apart…desperately trying to find our way back to one another.

Far to the West and even further to the East…our lives have gone in completely different directions for many years.

My Mom’s passing made the distance seemingly insurmountable and the gaps too deep to bridge. The pain made the thought of any added pain completely intolerable, and we retreated.

I wonder how two kids who loved each other more than anything else in the world, who live in such close proximity, can be so far apart?

Human beings, being human. Life taking its toll. Unresolved betrayals. Unspoken apologies. All of the things under the proverbial rug, that we never talked about. The white fucking elephant stampeding through our little lives…I don’t know exactly what it was, because it wasn’t a defining moment really. Rather, it was many little moments, made insignificant and destructive by years and years of silence…all piled up into a mountain that we haven’t been able to climb just yet.

We are adults now. We aren’t kids, riding the neighborhood on our big wheels anymore. We may not know how to adult but we sure are fucking trying. We may not know how to say we are sorry, but I know that we both are, so sorry, for losing our way to each other.

The little boy who I wouldn’t let leave my sight…the same little boy that I lashed out at because of the horrific pain that I was in…who grew up into a young man, who is now a very successful grown man…will always be my little Brother, Shawn.

I may not have known how to love him right but I sure did love him with everything I had in me. I still do, not know how to love him “right”, but still love him with all I’ve got.

So, today, on our deceased Mother’s Birthday, I say a little prayer, that we may someday, someway…find our way back to one another.

Through the sporadic texts and the difficult phone calls…through all of life’s ups and downs…I hope you know Shawn, that I miss you and I love you just the same.

Emerging from the empty fish bowl…

Good morning! I hope your week is off to a good start. My week feels like it is starting off slowly…my life kind of feels like it’s in slow motion and going 100 mph all at the same time.

I feel pretty disconnected from the world around me. I have been pretty disconnected for a couple of years, trying to navigate my world after the death of my Mom. I thought it was about time I came back in and now I’m thinking, maybe not.

My whole life, holidays and Birthdays have been a big deal in my family. My Birthday is in August. My Brothers Birthday is March the 9th and my Moms is April 6th and my Dads is April 9th. Mothers Day and Fathers Day come right behind my family’s Birthdays. I was always scrambling, because everyone came all at once and there I was out there in August by myself.

When my Mom died, all of that died with her. I tried to maintain her enthusiasm and was not met with enthusiasm, and so I think I just gave up. From the people closest to my heart my whole life, I received texts for Christmas. I think that was my breaking point…the point where something inside me just broke.

Kind of strange really…I mean it wasn’t like a monumental moment, just lots of painful moments over time, that finally resulted in a break. Breaks are where the light enters and I am seeing little flickers of light shining in through the tears, streaming down my cheeks.

My Mom always made our favorite meal and our favorite cake for our Birthday. Ever year, without fail, on the night before our Birthday, the house smelled so amazing! My Mom would be up baking  and it was the best thing ever!

Last night, our house smelled amazing! I got out my Moms recipe for Shawn’s very favorite Birthday treat…dream bars. My Mom and I made them together. Through the years, I watched my Mom make dream bars countless times. Last night, through my tears, I made them in her place.

I have come to accept that I cannot hold our family together. I would never have believed, not in a million years, that my Mom dying, was only the beginning of my loss. I would never have believed that this could happen to our family. Isn’t that how it happens? I mean, I imagine that no one believes this will happen to their family either.

I heard that the death of a loved one can destroy marriages, relationships, lifelong friendships and families. I guess I believed that…I mean, my Moms death nearly destroyed me. What I didn’t realize, what I didn’t know, is that losing my Mom wasn’t to be the only relationship that death came for.

Obviously, death took my Mom from me. Not so glaring, not so suddenly and not even on my radar…death took my little brother and my Dad from me too. My Mom died and all of everything we have ever known and celebrated and believed in…it all died with her.

Lifelong friendships…gone. I guess because I couldn’t maintain my end, that ended it. Fucking devastating the wreckage that I am standing in. Life gets hard and people get gone. Life is too hard and people cannot look.

I have seen families literally fighting over the remains of their loved ones. I have seen families take everything from one another, in deaths name. Things sacred, no longer sacred and promises made for a lifetime, no longer honored. Death can bring out shit that you could never imagine in people that you thought you knew. Death doesn’t just take the deceased…death can also rob the living.

Life has blown me completely out of the water since my Moms diagnosis in October of 2015. As I look down into the empty fish bowl that I am about to land back in, I see that there is no water left. Headed face first into the bottom of the glass, I realize that I am fucked. I am so fucked!

From this angle, there is nowhere to go but down, and this is going to fucking hurt. The odds are not in my favor to even survive a crash like this. Headed face first, at the speed of sound, straight for the bottom, and right before I hit…I look around and see that no one is on the inside of the glass anymore. No one but me in here…SLAM…CRASH…CRASH…FUCK!! FUCK!!!

For the last couple of years, I have kind of just laid down here, dazed and confused and bewildered. I don’t breathe too well down here…like a fish out of water, this is taking its toll. I see people all day long…people I can’t touch or reach anymore. The glass is really thick and they must not be able to hear my cries for help.

I know my screams are muted and I guess you can’t see the agony on my face through the glass either. I scream your name and hit the glass, trying to get your attention. I see you looking right at me, and nothing…like it’s a mirrored glass and you can’t see me see you, but I see you. I do see you, like I’ve always seen you. I just realized that you can’t see me anymore, you can’t hear me anymore…

At first I am perplexed…How can I see you and hear you so clearly and vividly? How can I get out of here to help you, and yet I can’t get out of here to save me? How can you not see me? How can you not hear my screams? I don’t understand. I see you and the only reason that I don’t hear you is because you aren’t talking to me anymore.

This fishbowl is no life for a fish…and certainly no life for a Coral…This existence and the vortex encapsulating me…this is not how my story is going to end. I will not allow it.

I have a lifeline that I’ve been unable to reach dangling above me. Kind of like a cat with a string…I’ve made contact with the string, I just haven’t been able to grab hold…

Death has robbed me of my ability to celebrate my life. Death took my Mom and nothing changes that…nothing ever will. Everyone else though…death didn’t take them…and I won’t blame death for loss that she didn’t claim. In fact, I don’t blame anyone anymore…just some observations from inside this waterless and damn near lifeless fish bowl…

So, with my dreambars in tow, I am off to surprise my little brother, for his Birthday. I realize that I cannot keep up with my Moms traditions…only Sherry could do that. I cannot fill the void that her leaving has left…no one can do that. No one can save me…I must do that.

Death has taken a lot from me and yet she has taken nothing at all from me. Death did not empty Coral…Coral is not empty. This fishbowl though…this bowl is definitely empty.

The lifeline dropped a couple of more inches and I can reach it now and so I grab hold. I grab on with all I’ve got and slowly and ever so carefully, Little by Little…I am getting the fuck out of this empty and lifeless bowl!

We all have a choice and although we may not know it, we do. We have a choice and today I choose life…my life. I choose your life and the fishes life whose bowl I’ve been residing in for the last couple of years.

Be the change my friends…be the change. I can see you through your glass bowl and I can hear your cries and now that I am free, I am dropping my lifeline down for you. What you choose to do with it, well that is entirely up to you!

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