Saturday

My Unique Day with a Ferret and The Bloggess subtitled "How did so many people get in here? The Story of Now, Inside My Mind"

One of my favorite friends isn't answering my calls, emails, letters, or smoke signals.  I decided to write about it in my blog so maybe she would read it here and meet me for lunch one day next week.  There's a great Hawaiian place in Atlanta I just heard about and I'd like to see a fire show while I enjoy a meal.  Unless there's dairy involved; then I won't enjoy the show OR the meal.

She is so cool and funny and smart and she has a dog named Dorothy Barker, writes a blog, has a precious daughter and very understanding husband and lots dead stuff in her house.  When I say "friend" of course I mean someone famous on the internet whom I've never actually met.  But now it's kind of like we've met because I just had the Best Day Ever and it was because of her.  And because of the actual Unique person I met.  She makes me laugh and sometimes cry.  She also has no idea who I am or that I even have a blog.  She would totally "get" me and want to go get matching tattoos if we (Me and Unique) ever did meet Jenny Lawson,  The Bloggess who is famously worldwide famous for her love of ferrets.  She is so popular that some pet stores ask her to leave before "that thing that happened last time you were here" happens again.  She is also a celebrity, popular, and probably crazy rich since she writes books but is also sad and vulnerable. (Same as my other Bestie, Brene Brown).

Nobody is probably following me at this point.  (Not blog "following".  I have family and friends with Multiple Personality Disorders to prop up my ego.  So not kidding.) 

What I mean is, nobody is probably understanding that I am actually talking about a REAL girl; Unique, and a VERY real person with a blog who is only virtually my friend. 
And Lazarus, a furry girl.
Continue, dear reader.  This will make more sense if you finish this post. 
(Especially if I actually finish and post it- b/c usually I don't.)  Don't Judge Me.
Lazarus, before her bath. (The one on the left)

Books can be expensive but blogs are free and so are ferrets.  As long as you don't take them out of the store with you.  Or damage them.  I begged the lady at the pet store to let me hold one and she LET ME BATHE HER!!!  (the employee let me bathe the animal, to be clear).


So now I have a real friend and not just computer generated ones that may or may not be Robots.  This is Unique.  (the employee, not just the condition of having an actual live friend, also unique in a way that, in this case means, out of the usual manner of circumstance)
I don't claim to be capable of using the internet.  Or this computer thing.  

Much like my own head, there are so damn many people in this post that even I am confused.  And I wrote it.  And I know them all... well, know OF them all.
And yes, they ARE real and not just voices in my head.  (Mental Illness is not funny, gotdammit. 
My people with visual and auditory hallucinations live in their own special little hell on earth
-and furry things are the only things that keep us from stepping off the rooftop some days.)

I don't know if her past is like mine... and if it was I would never Tell Her or anyone else.  But her people are my people... I goes where she goes- even when that means down the damn Rabbit Hole in Raccoon pants (Brene and RSA can help us).  I am committed to her and her people even at the cost of my sane, safe, comfy way of life.  If I have To Write Love On Her Arms then imma get a tattoo of Rory on my bicep. Or maybe on the saggle that hangs down from where my tricep used to be.
That's in the Bible- look it up. The love/tattoo/follow that woman thing, not the raccoon pants or saggle arm part. 
That I know of.

 (Now you can use my blog in Sunday School too.  WTH?! I AM brilliant.  I have crashed the church  market, they can't throw me out, and the people who only come a few times a year will totally like me more than the dry devotionals and will read my blog instead for spiritual guidance. 
TBH- I don't need more people to read this.  My self worth is tied to my performance in other areas, my thickness and width, and my lack of ability to maintain long term friendships.  except as above referenced mentally ill friends and family.  Besides, I'm as qualified to be a spiritual guide as Lazarus.  The Ferret.  The guy Jesus raised from the dead probably knows his shit.)

God doesn't really need my help. Unique doesn't need help at the petstore and Jen doesn't need me to send traffic her way- they is all doing just fine without me.  As are Damn GirlMo Isom,  James GrobPeople I Want to Punch in the Throat, and my neighbors Natta, Mindy, Lara, and Jennifer.  Really, I'm not writing all of this so famous people will thank me for increasing their traffic. (But, you're welcome James.  Here come ten depressed women to check you out.  Make them laugh, please).  I'm writing because at 2am I'm still awake writing a blog- if I get it all down on paper it's no longer inside of me threatening the life it belongs to.  (Sorry, Anna Nalick, now you too are part of my flying monkey circus circle of virtual friends.)
I am writing this, and everything I write, so that you don't feel alone.  You are not.
If you think you can not take another day or another breath- call someone.  Read all of the links in this post before you do anything desperate.  Stand in the street and yell, "Heeeeellllllp".  There are helpers out there if you look for them.  Google Fred Rogers and spend all the time you need listening to his soft, loving coo.  He is my first love.

I do have actual friends but you'll have to track down another blog to find her, or She, or Two Feet, or a Bunny Princess to read about them.  You might also have to prove you are not a robot. 
Or go ask my neighbors.

It might be pathological, but only a support group and the internet have effectively and safely connected me to those who are like me and who understand; who make me laugh, make me feel good and - gawd forbid not feel NORMAL- but okay.

And for that, I thank her.  It. Them. 
Thank you.  Thank you all.

Saturday

High low. How are you?

Are we all a little crazy?  Therapists and doctors hate that word. 
"Crazy" might mean she is a dingy blonde who can't keep up with her car keys or a sociopath who plants bombs at marathons. 'Those crazy kids' might mean young lovers -or tweakers making meth behind the gas station.
It's a little hard to nail down.

Crazy CAN be defined, of course.  The DSM is the holy grail of how we professionally sort nuts into their appropriate piles.  We call people names according to their clusters of symptoms. 
Which seems kind of mean.

It's a valid attempt for knowing how to prescribe the right meds to manage the most problems with the least amount of N/V/D, flatulence, weight loss, weight gain, floppy dick, and migraine with episodes of bleeding from the eyeballs.
But it's no fun to be called bipolar, schizoid, or SAD.  Even worse is the paint by number with first middle and last names:
 F43.24 Adjustment Disorder with Disturbance of Conduct. 

Well... maybe if someone calls you F43point24ADWDOC... it sounds a little like you're a fighter pilot.  Or related to a duck.  It still doesn't really help you feel all that much better. 
Unless the pharmaceutical industry happened to stumble upon something that makes your conduct less disturbed and adjustment less disorderly.  Then you're golden.

How about "broken"?  Maybe we can all just say we are broken.  At least while we are not in the doctors' offices or pharmacies.  Because we are all broken in some way. 

You can't say, "I love you".  He won't be faithful to his wife.  They can't keep the voices in their heads from drowning out what is true.  I can't stop shooting up heroine.
(Mom, if you're reading this, I haven't STARTED shooting up heroin.)

My particular flavor of crazy/brokenness/tomfoolery is unusually abate today.  Or maybe I have come down with a new diagnosis altogether.  Either way, I plan to go out and have some fun being free from the symptoms that usually bother me the most.

I don't plan to call anyone else names today either.  Everyone gets a pass.  If you eat too much, weigh too little, smell funny, swerve, swear, stumble, or sort your M&M's before you eat them- you go have a great day out there.



Thursday

No More

The problem with doing what I feel like doing is that sometimes I stop feeling.
It's not the same as when a kid gets bored on summer vacation and "doesn't feel like doing anything".  It's more like when a diabetic's feet stop feeling.  There might be a point when every feeling feels bad or irritating or painful but there is an even more ominous moment.  When the feeling goes away completely.

I can't speak for everyone but there have been a lot of people whom I've spoken with who have the same experience.  Nothing is beautiful or lovely or ugly or moving in any way.  The things I've always loved to do hold no appeal.  Everything is a chore- breathing in and out is exhausting.  It's not that we don't care what happens to our children, or the whole world, it's just that we are certain they are better off without us.  If I could stop being- I would.
Even better than dying, which would be a total pain in the ass for everyone I love, would be to just cease to exist.
It's not that I want to destroy the whole world and cause everything to end, it's just that I know that relatively soon everything else will be just as exhausted and expended as I am right now.  It's mercy.  It's really best for ALL of us if we just call it quits, lay down, and stop.
No more moving.  No more breathing.  No more of all of this exhausting being, for god's sake.
Enough already.
Everything we do gets undone.  All that's created gets destroyed.  Every fed belly will be hungry again and it's just too much.
I just want it all to stop.

And that is how depression feels to me this time around.

Saturday

I'd like to sing the world a song, and shake an egg.

It's funny how sometimes a song can say just what you can't.
There's this recurring theme in my life.  I want to start over- do a better job now that I'm in a better place.  I want to hit the reset.
It's like that with my partner, my job, several friends, my kids, and even my home.  I want a different outcome without having to move to California and start all over.  I want a change.  Really, only I can make that change and I'm realizing it's not as hard as I've feared.

A very good friend of mine once told me if I want my life to be different I should just write.  Writers can create universes.  We can be and go and do anything we can imagine.  That's a lot of pressure.  When life is really difficult is when we most often have failures of creativity.  It's nice to know there are universes out there to choose from though.
Another good friend taught me about the writing of comedy and tragedy.  We talked for a long time about the outcome of every story and how subtle a change is required to change from one to the other.  Sometimes just a matter of perspective makes the shift from comedy to tragedy- like viewing life from the lense of a victim.  The swap is also possible for tragedy to comedy when we can practice letting go of hurt and laughing occasionally when things don't go as we'd hoped.  Life is still unfair and the pain and suffering are real.  Our responses to them are sometimes what make circumstances good or bad.  I can look at my own mother's life and decide either it was a devastating failure of raising hurt kids who had more than our share of struggles- or I can see it as a colorful adventure that made me incredibly resourceful.

If I could sing you a song, I would.  I can't -but I want you to hear my friend.
(We are imaginary friends- she doesn't know who I am, but in my mind she laughs and laughs at my stories and writes songs about me and our friendship and our adventures and we drink tea together with our pinkies out).
I've listened to this one hundreds of times and I'd like for you to hear it today.  Maybe you're in a place in life like mine... you'd like to think things can change.  It might not seem like they can- or you might be on the brink of it.  Relationships sometimes change on the turn of a phrase.  I like to think that can happen; that I can change my whole life by not just saying the same thing I always say.  When we respond differently everyone around us has to as well.  It's the dance of relationships.  When I change my steps, you have to as well- or you can get your toes stepped on or  you mught bump me awkwardly.  It's hard to do -but worth it.  And the power of change starts with me- me not saying the same thing I always say when I'm angry, or not doing the same thing everytime situation A or B happens.  Small change...

Rewrite song


Did you hear it?  My favorite parts....
"Come on- let's rewrite this tragedy".  She's not doing it herself.  She invited someone else in to write with her.  I love co-creating.  My best work, two daughters, has been done with my husband, our dogs and family and a whole village of loons.  My effort alone is not enough to create such intricate work.  I need help.  And it's available THANK GOD!
And the "ooooohhhh ooh ohhhh ohhhs".  That's another favorite part.  I dance around in circles to it.  Something about the wordless joy of it sends me spinning.   (You should try it.)
The crash and hi hat, the little Eric Clapton riffs at the end... I love the guitar and the percussion and the way everything blends so perfectly.  I love it "one line at a time".  "Another first chance to be truly Brave".  And the egg shaker; the only instrument I can play with any proficiency.  Did you miss it?  Go back and listen again.  Go rewrite.  Go give it a try.

I know, this is easy for me.  I have a happy marriage- I just want some small changes; less criticism, more fun, healthier living for all of us.  But listen to me.... I got here from a place of complete devastation.  It all happens with one choice, one rewrite at a time.  You can do this.
If I could, everybody can.


Tuesday

super pissed about the beach

My kids are super pissed at me right now.  I wouldn't let them come to the beach for the weekend with thier father and I.  Just the fact that I made that statement blows my mind.  Sounds like a real first world problem, right?  I also have a kid who, "Isn't interested in going to college".  This morning I had a revelation about "millennials".  It baked my noodle - and pretty well done too. 

The Preacher and I needed to get away- alone and together.  There are lots of reasons (Christmas shopping for our kids, mental health vacay, separation from our jobs -so that we can't be reached or called in to help, and so we can have hot monkey sex without the teenagers hearing us. Important stuff, ya'll.)  We don't feel we need to give our daughters excuses, so I said- "No, I'd planned on you coming along but I've changed my mind".  When that set off the alarms and a poutfest I decided I must've failed as a parent.

How spoiled do these kids have to be to think that they have the "right" to go to the beach? Just because we CAN go they believe we all MUST go!  Well, as it turns out, they're not spoiled, just disappointed.  And pretty smart.

My knee jerk reaction is to be mad at them for being mad at me.  That's not fair; everybody gets to be mad.  
If everybody doesn't get to be mad then nobody gets to be.  In families where nobody gets to be mad feelings aren't felt and dysfunction is forced to flourish.  In those where only SOME of the members get to be mad, resentment is built, respect is impossible, and rebellion is certain and severe.

So, surfer girls DEFINITELY get to be disappointed that they didn't get to come to the beach.  Plans change and, especially for a young adult who had taken a day off work, a change in plans can be super disappointing.  Frustrating.   Ok, maddening.  (When your Momma is unable to keep up with her own plans, constantly changes plans/shifts gears/has her own conflicts, and melts down like a toddler on occasion- frustration can be part of life.)

There's another element to the beach thing.
The ocean is a source of healing.  If you don't believe that, you've never been.

When I was 19, I hadn't.  At the cusp of adulthood I had been taking care of myself for more than a decade.  I'd taken care of my alcoholic mother for much of her life too.  I had set out on my own and was living a life I abhor to think that my daughters might choose.  I'd had a nearly-live-in-arrangement with one boy for almost five years at that point and was headed from one man's arms to another at the time.  My new man had a picture perfect family and a pickup truck.  My 19th summer I got in that truck with him and headed for the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.
Having grown up in the midwest I hadn't ever been and had no idea what I was missing.  I had suffered from Major Depression Disorder for several years but was the only teenager I'd known of to have such a diagnosis back in those days.  (It was severe enough that it had already almost cost my life and had required months of hospitalization.)
The first time in the water I made he and his friends laugh by saying, "It really does taste like SALT!!"  They couldn't understand my surprise, but anyone who hasn't tasted the ocean prior to adulthood will understand the intense salty saltiness cannot be duplicated with table salt.  It's it's own thing; warming and comforting and slightly disgusting at the same time.  Even my surfer girl doesn't understand my naivete of ocean salinity- she and her sister have tasted it from their very first summers.
So, all those years ago, during my summer of love I headed to the beach with Not-yet-preacher in a pickup truck and fell madly in love... twice.  

We spent the week in a big rented house with his friends.  (Will I let my girls go if invited?  Oh HELLS no! Judge me for a double standard if you like.  I am NOT letting my babies do what I done.)
He was a perfect gentleman, giving me a double bed in a room alone every night while he slept on the couch. Being a depressed and over medicated on antidepressant kind of girl, I was in that bed alone at least 8 hours per night with an occasional nap during the day.  I was egocentric enough at that time not to realize how his friends tormented him for bringing a girl on full scholarship with no expectation of booty.  A part of me did realize what an exceedingly good person he was, even then.  I was completely safe in the care of a man for the first time in my life since my parents had divorced.  (Age 3)
There was another new experience during that trip.  I knew the salt water would heal cuts and sores.  I'd already worked in college in a major hospital with a level I Trauma Center and specialists from all over the world; one had been a Marine Biologist who'd shown me "marine minded medicine" that he'd learned while working in a coastal area.  There are tips and tricks related to marine injuries and treatments of which the rest of us Landlubber medical staff were unawares.  That was the sum total of cool information about the ocean I'd been exposed to.  While it was impressive and fascinating, it wasn't experiential.  Actually seeing the ocean water heal up a cut AMAZED me.  Like, stupid about it, showing everyone what it had done in just a day or two.  Just imagine young adults who just want to party for a week listening to the "smart girl from podunk talk about salt water like it was "maaaagic".  Sure, good luck in medical school, blondie.

But it was much more than that.  The salt water seemed somehow to soothe something in me tht I didn't even know needed soothing.  It might have been the waves or the sunshine or the comfort of the tides, whose rhythm I could never quite calculate.  Maybe it was the waves, whose sets I couldn't predict no matter how many times I've counted them.  Catching and riding waves still escapes me but letting them crash over me seems to work just fine to fix what's broken inside.

I come from a farming family.  We are generations of working the earth and the animals and most of us have never seen the ocean.   My kids have never worked the earth and wouldn't know a bull from a dairy cow.  Trying to explain the seasons or the birthing of a calf or the misery of detasseling corn is a waste of the breath I already can't hold long enough to wait for good sets.  Some things have to be felt; experienced.
The ocean; they know.  
They know the waves and the tides, marine life and sand in their sanwiches.  They are mermaids who recognize the sweep of the wave hitting shore with it's bubbling hiss that fades to a fizzle.  They can feel the waves even surf them.  They have something I never had -not because they're spoiled millennials but because we gave them an awesome thing- beach memories.  That doesn't mean they get  a trip to the shore every time they long for fresh seafood but it doesn't either mean they're entitled or spoiled.  It means they're blessed- lucky, fortunate, and tan more of the year than not.

Saturday

Deep and Rare

So many images prompt deep visceral responses.  For years one prompted a gut reaction that I couldn't explain.  Maybe I just couldn't handle the truth....
No matter if it was on a car, an ad on tv, or a tshirt... this image was a gut punch.

As melancholy navel gazers are prone to do, I meditated upon it.  The first memory of the image?  (always an important question in self psychoanalysis) The wall of our living room.

A beautiful red velvet banner ensconced in thick glass proudly displaying the seal of the USMC.  It was also on the underside of the toilet lid.  THAT... that was the first time I'd seen it; scarcely lower than my own eye level at the time.  Oh, I'd seen the beautiful one on the wall in the living room too but the one on the toilet is the sticker that stuck me.

My stepfather had been a Marine. (The FIRST step father.  I've had many; but more on that another time.)  His name was Dick.
Dick was the second man I'd call Daddy.  How that must have broken my father's heart.  He'd been replaced by a huge, strapping, handsome "man's man" who served proudly and moved in before the divorce was even final.  

I remember a few things he'd done that were distinctly Marine.  He planted two forty foot flagpoles in the front yard as soon as my dad moved out.  One flew the American flag, the other the USMC banner.  I remember only a few other things... He was magical at decorating Easter Eggs with colored markers.  He had given me the beating of my life for coming home late from a school function.  He also carried me in his arms to have my foot sewn up after an accident running barefoot in the grass.  He'd had a sharp jawline, steely eyes, a strong frame with brutal fists, a commanding bark that was not to be challenged... and a temper.
I was his favorite new daughter when my mom married him.  My brother and I were preschoolers and the fact that I was his ONLY new daughter escaped me completely.  My brother and elder by 14 months and 14 days was keenly aware of the favoritism.  He was just a little boy desperate to be the man of the house in this confusing transition time of our lives.

In my little mind it was the best of every world- it was the only world I knew.  Two Daddies.  Still the same Mommy, the same Big Brother, same dog in the yard, and the same green house on Green Street.  Normal, right?

So why, all these years later would the Seal of the US Marine Corps have such a profound effect on me?  Clearly, they are the Few, the Proud, and the Badass Peace Keepers of the World.  
Vacillation between intense pride and sheer horror continued for years.  The Seal's sway lingered.

"Semper Fi" raises such a swell of pride that it still catches my breath in my throat.
My throat.  That is where the sticker on the toilet makes it's mark.  In my throat.
I'm his favorite. 
I never showered with my "first daddy" why do I shower with this hulking Marine of a man- his hair covered body a shocking and frightening tower over my own small frame in the bathroom.  It makes me see red... the red of the seal on the USMC seal inside of the toilet lid.
I lift it, using all my strength and the span of my tiny reach to push the lid all the way open so I can vomit into the toilet.  Missing the head is cause for whipping.  Don't miss the toilet....

Even as an adult, the sticker of a Corpsman in the back window of a car gives me pause.

In my professional life I have amazing opportunities to meet a wide array of people.  My favorites tend to be the most difficult.  I ease into happy banter with the curmudgeon in the coffee shop.  The difficult patients in our practice are always "mine"; I call dibbs every time.

So when a Marine rolled in with a train wreck diagnosis, a dangerous prescription, and a lawyer daughter- I signed right up.  I'd have to document every detail to keep from having the DoD from refusing to pay for the treatment we were about to attempt.  Though Army clients usually didn't cause legal issues this was a special case.  Our local military post houses all branches and shares the wealth of need for special care with my very special practice.  This would be tricky.  This patient was in bad shape.  The therapy I'd be providing carried a list of risks a mile long, not excluding sudden death.

Intensive therapy would require my presence at his bedside for several hours daily, several days in a row.  So the first week of every month saw my duty station at the home of  "My Marine".
Before the end of our first visit my concerns about litigiousness and adverse reactions to therapy disappeared.  This was no last grasp for therapy.  Not a 'we will sue your asses if anything goes wrong', entitled former military patient.  This was a US Marine.  This was RJ.*  (Name changed due to HIPPA laws.)  One of the greatest men I've met to this day.

Gunny and his sweet wife calmly answered my questions as they had a thousand times before to other providers: "no" this condition wasn't considered service related, "no" he'd had no preexisting neurological conditions, "no" there was not a trace of VD or HIV or other "unmentionable" history to consider.  He was the doting husband of a loud and lovely fireball of an elementary teacher.  His brilliant and quiet daughter was a Pro Bono lawyer with a precious tiny dog that she'd bring to visit atop her daddy's bed.

Giant Marine.  Confined to his bed or motorized chair.  Gentle and wise and full of quiet strength.  All mine for 25-40 hours a month.  My personal life must not enter the professional care of my patients and their families.  But I mined his psyche for information about my "second dad".  Of course I didn't tell him I was the "daughter of a Marine".  That never even seemed legitimate before I spent time in the presence of a "Real Marine Family".  RJ talked of teaching his own daughter to set goals, push past limits, serve others.... My dads' were a swirling confusion of questionable legitimacy, mixed messages, and dire consequences.  

"My Marine", in our first few weeks together would remind me of much World History I'd failed to grasp as a high school and college student.  He challenged me to get a passport; something every American that can -ought to do.  Then I was encouraged to go home and teach my own kids about some of our US military campaigns.  His dear wife reminded me that the most important things really are learned in kindergarten.  "Tell the truth", "do what's right", and "be nice to everyone", she reminded me every visit.  Lessons taught by her lifestyle, not preaching empty words.  And do your homework while you sit on the toilet.
Still the best advice I've ever heard.  

I watched her feed him every bite he would eat during our hours together.  He thanked her for every single one.  Every sip, every dab of his chin with a napkin, every kiss prompted a "thank you".  Their banter was charming as a comedy team; she was his "Nurse Goodbooty" and he was her Hero, her Warrior, her Man.  His dignity remained intact despite the need of someone to hold his urinal every time he had to pee.  The mirror next to his bedside assured he was "high and tight" even when he couldn't brush his own teeth.  

RJ was also open and honest in the moments his wife and daughter weren't at his side.  Old buddies would sometimes  share the bedside banter as his family took respite to tend obligations.  Comrades weren't as patient with my ignorance and questions as he had been.  How dare I ask about a family history of illness when Gunny has served this country in multiple theaters of battle over multiple decades.  The US Military knew goddamned well that there were injuries caused to our men by the policies and procedures carried out in the field of battle and even in the homeland.  Camp LeJeune's water supply was well known for much illness back in the day.  Gunny didn't blame.  He'd calm his friend after letting him blow off enough steam to get his head together.  I saw what only battle buddies can do for each other.  It is a special and deep kind of love; rare in this world.  Though his friend came to visit so my patient wasn't alone, it was sometimes hard to tell who was caring for whom.  The same goes for our relationship.  I may be the practitioner, but he was the provider.

It's been over a year since I saw RJ.  The treatment I'd administered hadn't offered him any real improvement.  The risks of continuing this potentially dangerous therapy outweighed the real offer of benefit.  I thought of he and his wife and daughter and little dog too so often with pride and gratitude and real affection.  It felt as if I'd failed him since my therapy hadn't worked and I hadn't been able to provide even the least support.   Veteran's Day came.  I had no right to dial the phone.  In the year that has passed he may have deteriorated further, or he may be gone.


A year ago, before I had left what I suspected would be our last visit, I told them the truth.  I said, "You looked on paper to be a trainwreck- doomed to die in your bed with me at your side holding the IV."  I admitted, not only the concerns I had with treating him, but the deep dark fears in my own heart...
I told him about my other Marine.  My second Daddy.  The man who came back from VietNam and Korea looking every bit a hero and a strong man despite the times.  The man who would abuse his new wife with his fists and his 'favorite new daughter' with the rest of his body.  I told him that I'd learned in my few months with him that sometimes men were broken in heartbreaking ways.  And that really had nothing to do with me.  Marines are still the best of the best.  But just like every other people group, population, denomination, race, and nationality... some of us are broken in ways no medicine can fix.  And some of us are sick.

I can claim to be the daughter of a Marine because that was truly a season of my life.  Not just the barking commands and cuffs I took at 4 years old when it was hard to keep my tiny feet on the floor in front of me at the dinner table.  I was the daughter of a Marine because my heart swells with pride at the sight of our Flag.  I am, corny as it sounds, an All American girl.  I have had to re-parent myself, even as my sweet husband and I raise two daughters ourselves.  I have also had the joy of being "re-parented" by the men and women who have spoken truth over me, corrected my thinking, and broadened my views.

 I saw the Truth that I really can't handle... Men stand and die for me every day.  Some of them come home busted up ...but there are a few, I'm proud to say, that are never broken.