Ripping the Veil

I wish I could explain what happened in Newton, CT.

I wish I could be assured there was a reason, or purpose.

But I can’t.

© Angelia's Photography

All I can say is what I know.

I know there are good people in this world. I know there are bad people in this world.

Evil does not have a conscious. It does not think, or plan, or consider.

It just does.

© Angelia's Photography

I don’t believe it comes from bad parenting, video games, or laws.

It just is.

© Angelia's Photography

Evil invades the most precious places of our souls. It robs us. It mocks us. It pits us against each other, and it knows no boundaries.

No one is safe.

Not even innocent children.

© Angelia's Photography

Evil is not here or there. You can’t find it on a Google map.

It has no address.

Only existence.

© Angelia's Photography

It will ply into every crack it can, to squeeze and twist every piece of our heart.

To make us weak. To make us give up.

And it hurts.

It hurts deeply, and tragically.

© Angelia's Photography

So I am sorry that I can’t offer you an explanation of why things go wrong, or why bad things happen……

All I can offer you is my truth…..I believe… day…….evil will be defeated.

For good.

Because as much as it takes away….it can not steal our hope and faith.

Hug your children, pray, and grieve, but please……

……don’t ever forget and don’t ever give up.

We Remember Them…

In the rising of the sun and in its going down,
We remember them;

In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,
We remember them;

In the opening of buds and in the warmth of summer,
We remember them;

In the rustling of leaves and the beauty of autumn,
We remember them;

In the beginning of the year and when it ends,
We remember them;

When we are weary and in need of strength,
We remember them;

When we are lost and sick at heart,
We remember them;

When we have joys we yearn to share,
We remember them;

So long as we live, they too shall live
For they are now a part of us as
We remember them.

from Gates of Prayer,
Judaism Prayerbook

An Unexpected Encounter

She stood at the bin squeezing the avocados. One by one; squeeze, handle, and replace. Her fingers moved from one to the next quickly, she furrowed her brow in concentration. The little lines above her nose wrinkled in a twist. She was looking for a ripe one, and she really had no idea how hard, or soft it was supposed to be – hence the disturbance of her features.

I boasted a little knowing every expression, every concern, and every move about her. She was my ex after all. The love of my life. We were together six years, but I hadn’t seen her in several. She looked older, a little more worn, and mature. Her hair was darker underneath with blond streaks dispersed throughout the top. She had gained some weight, but then again, she was too thin the last time I’d seen her. She looked good.

The punch of sorrow to my gut surprised me, because I realized, I still missed her. She was still my one and only. The rawness of our dissolution opened like an old wound. I felt my eczema flare up and burn. My heart thumped wildly. Then, the anger began broiling up (as it always did). I pressed back the floodgates of memories and looked at her again. My heart softening once more.

She had a plastic vegetable sack holding one avocado by this point. She was still digging through the selection. A sliver of hair freed its self from behind her ear and fell across her hazel eye and cheek. She didn’t bother to tuck it back. It swung softly over her eyelashes as she moved from one side of the bin to the other – searching as she stepped and leaned forward.

She finally pulled her hand up to tuck the stray away. That’s when I noticed the ring. A wedding ring. Platinum and sparkling, it flashed in my face. It flashed me back. It illuminated the storm inside. The anger, pain, and memories bubbled over. I clenched my fist, and grit my teeth. Burning as the floodgates opened wide.

I saw her – staring at me from inside her car. The garage door hung by one hinge, the rest of it crumpled by my explosion of fury when I saw all the furniture removed from the house. Everything gone in the two hours I had left to go to the store. The flurry of activity, her friends, and co-workers standing by, eyes boring into my skin like leaches, like I was a leach. How dare they.

The rage was a towering inferno and I glared at her. My eyes piercing and dark. Not once did I look away as she pulled from the driveway. I wanted that to be her last vision of me. To know how much I despised, and hated her for leaving me hanging like the garage door; crumpled and broken.

In an instance, it all came back, filling the emptiness of my soul with outrage. I wanted to let my temper take over. I wanted to rankle her fluid life. Stun her when I appeared, to remind her of what she did to me. I seethed, the ever present heat inside, as it was back in those days. The softness for her – gone.

As much as I wanted to face her, to look her in the eye, and see her fear of me. See the pain of me. I couldn’t move from my place of voyeurism. She had moved on (of course she had). I debated following her, finding out where she lived, and what he looked like. I wanted to quell the ignited blaze. Maybe knowing was my extinguisher. Was that stalking? Jesus, what was I doing?

With a last glance, I backed behind the shelves, expelling a rush of air too full for my chest. Turning down the aisle, I stepped hard toward the exit.

Write a short piece of fiction about seeing an ex in the grocery store from the first person point-of-view. Instead of writing from the female perspective, we want you to write from the male perspective.

This is my first effort at fiction since last year. It might be a little rough, but I needed the practice. I hope you enjoyed.

I am also being featured over at The Scoop on Poop today. If it’s not up yet, you can keep checking back. I’ll be there today and tomorrow. Click on the link or picture. Happy Friday!

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I’m not getting married

…again,” she said firmly, eyes flashing. “I mean never. I am not doing this again. Going through all this stuff. The end, after twenty-two years. Mark my words. It’s not worth it.”

The discussion dashed out, dancing angrily in the air, walking with us on the park path. She said it with such conviction. Not a shred of doubt in her voice. I had to look at her face to see the hardness in her eyes and the set of her mouth.

I sighed inside. It’s not what I wanted for her. Me, who divorced twice. Me, who knew the journey she was choosing included a darker path than the one we walked toward the woods. Destination agony. The light as far away as it was now, and just as hard to reach. The bitter battle boiling as she marched towards the front lines – divorce.

The trail became somber and dark. The only sound, a whispering of our foot scraps, a slight huff of our breath. I silently pondered what to say – how to say – I’m sorry…….

Or I’m happy for you…..

No words seem right in these situations. Especially when you are talking with someone you love.

I am responsible for this. Wasn’t she following my lead? Didn’t I make this divorced life seem fun and interesting? Hadn’t I given her all my books on self-help? Was it the novel, Eat, Love, and Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert, infecting her need to find herself? Journey off to Italy to banish the demons, meditate with a guru in India, and be whatever it took, to finally find her happiness. But would she? Would she really? Because it would be mighty easy to just be bitter.

To hate men for the rest of her life. She wanted a lover in her future with no strings attached. HER. Mrs. Goody two-shoes of all time. A so-called life of fling with someone who wouldn’t commit, couldn’t commit, nor love her. Is that what she thought she deserved? To be smacked with inconsideration, and heartlessness. This was her freedom?

She was certain this is what she wanted. “I’m not getting married again – ever” her speech stabbed the air sharply and just as quickly lost its punch.

“It’s too painful.”

Like knocking back a shot of suffering, she went on with a little too much cheer. She explained the joys of a single apartment. The endless trips to IKEA. The privacy. She would live right next to the hospital she worked at. The security guards she knew could keep an eye on her, and tell her which apartments had the lowest crime. She couldn’t WAIT. But still….it was so different. She had always been caretaker, and home keeper. She was brilliant at it. Entertaining, nourishing children, tables over flowing with guests, country crafts being made, and calendars full of nonstop events. To go from Susie Homemaker to the spinster aunt? It just didn’t seem right.

My heart broke for her decision. Not because I didn’t want her to not marry again, but because even though I was fresh from divorce, I didn’t feel hate towards marriage. I knew it could be a glorious thing with people who jointly wanted to work at it. That sought God above all else – without selfishness, without blame, or worthlessness. That chose to sacrifice for a love that fills every hole. But she was tender. A fresh shoot, so fragile and she needed me to listen and to understand her angst.

I felt it was my fault. She admired my strength and felt weak in that towering shadow. But no, it wasn’t me. It was her life. Her choice. All I could do was support her through what she was going through. Be there with her, through every stinging barb, and every cry. Eventually the darkness would fade away. Eventually the pathway would brighten. Eventually the wounds would heal and there, on the other side, we would meet. In the bright light of sweet peace with arms wide open to welcome her new life.

My dear sister….you glow today and I haven’t even seen you yet. I am standing in that ring of light – so happy for you. I knew you would find your way to your true heart path. I knew, you’d be here as hard as it was. Today, you marry your best friend and soul mate. Today, a man opens his heart to you after being scared and widowed for long, long time. Today, you become step mom to young Leighann and beautiful Chelsea; a critically ill special needs child that only someone like you would accept and love as your own. Today, we celebrate the light in you both, that found its way from the gloom of despair and devastation – from loss and divorce – to the wonders of amazing love. Today, we celebrate………………………again!

“Success in marriage is much more than finding the right person; it is a matter of being the right person”


Congratulations Roger and Deedy. June 12th, 2010. Stay tuned for photographs through the tears. You might even recognize the flower girls.

Tale of the Wump Lump Bumps

*Warning, the pictures might gross you out.*

*Warning, this is a true story.*

*Warning, are you still reading? Are you sure?*

*Warning, this is your last warning.*

Tale of the wump lump bumps is a behind the scenes look at what was happening during, and after my 100th post. I’ve been having the itchies on and off since the end of May. The original wump lump was on the inside of my wrist. I thought when I moved some boxes around in my garage, I got bit by a spider. It swelled up like a goose egg. Then it magically disappeared. Strange!

Off and on after that, these wump lump bumps would rear their ugly head, itch madly, then leave without a word. What in the world? I became friends with them. Prayed they weren’t scabies or some other microscopic friend. As long as they packed their humps and headed off to wump lump land of a thousand mounds. I just didn’t care. And they did. Bye, bye, bye!

That is until a week ago……

This rude inconsiderate wump decided to pitch a tent on the back of my shoulder. The NERVE! Dude! Not only that, but he must have been pretty darn trashy because he ITCHED, and ITCHED, and ITCHED! Ouch!!!! The girls at work took this pic with my iPhone. Their faces were twisted in horror. Was I turning into a leper?

Now earlier in the day, it’s twin brother camped behind my EAR. That wasn’t nice. So now, he has moved on and the double mint wump lump comes up on my back. I go to Jason’s after work. My little lumpy intruder has decided to go all boomer land run and claim more of my SKIN! The lump wump bump grows up my back and neck. I could not even turn my head to the right it was so swollen. This picture is later the same night.

Now, I am very healthy. I have been blessed with very little ailments. Even if I get a cold (once or twice) every few years, it’s not too bad. I can name on one hand the bad sicks I’ve had. When I got viral food poisoning from raw oysters. When I got a terrible chest cold coughing so bad – and so long – I cracked a rib. It took a steroid inhaler to cure it. And until THIS, those were the worst things I have ever had to deal with.

I had no idea what was going on here because, normally, the wump lumps went home. Happy sated and rested up from their vacation. But these, they were getting angry, growing hot, and out of control. No amount of cream, nor Bendaryl, would appease them. I even tried CHOCOLATE – the cure all to end all. Of course that made me happy. Them? Not so much.

Then the wump lump junk impregnated my forearms. Either that, or the family got a divorce. They started out the size of mosquitoes, but they grew. These grew abnormally fast. They graduated (remarried) in an hour, turned 21 within two, gave birth to multiples of multiples. Now I think they are expecting grand wumps, or they opened a school of itch.

Um, ouch? I took two more Benadryl and crashed at Jason’s. He didn’t want me to leave. What if my insides swelled up? What if I stopped breathing? Who would know? No one, that’s who. And scarily enough, something very similar happened to my best friend from high school’s husband of twenty years. He broke out in hives and within hours ALMOST died. He was saved by the fact that she knew something was horribly wrong and got him to the emergency room – barely in time. I’m not kidding, it was a close call. And what was it? An allergic reaction. To what? Who knows? See! Scary stuff.

I promised him if I still had the village of the wump lump bumps torching my place the next morning, I would GLADLY go to the doctor.

Here I am at the doctors office the next morning. This lump wump bump really outdid himself. He must have feasted all night because he grew the entire length and width of the inside of my forearm. This is just ONE arm. The other forearm didn’t want to be left out. It had it’s own wump lump sump monster. Both were a nice shade of purple red. Both were firecracker hot, and did I mention they itch? Horribly.

The doctor was pretty stunned. They administered a steroid shot. He promised I’d feel halfway normal within an hour or two. I did. Thank GOD. The wump lump forearm twins faded to purple. See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.

I wore long sleeves. I never wear long sleeves. I am always hot, but believe me it was better if the remains were covered up. Give the family some time to grieve in private. The wump lump bumps were heading to heaven (I hoped).

Like any normal survivor of the wump lump bumps, I decided to go shopping. I know, right? I bought this.

Nikon D3000 with the additional 55m-200m lens, a camera case, a tripod, and a warranty for when I drop it. I got free photo classes thrown in, because this is SOME kind of camera. Oh it’s completely user friendly, but there is so much more to it, if I can learn the manual settings as well.

As for the wumpy lumpy bumpy junkys? Well, I haven’t seen them. But I feel them every day. They ITCH. Still. My skin turns red. It’s like I stepped in fire ant pile. Burning, and itching to no end. Still wearing long sleeves helps, but any kind of elastic fires off the rash of 1,000 bites. Of course, I have no explanation for why my head itches. I finally broke down the other night shaking, and weeping. Thank God for Jason’s arms and his reassurance. He was right there, holding me, and letting me cry. Because after a week of itching and burning, I could take no more.

I have been on steroids to keep their little nasty selves off of me. I take Benadryl at night to ease some of the discomfort of itching. Yesterday at work, I had to leave early. I clawed my chest up. It hurts to itch. Stress seems to magnify the nerve endings.

I am seeing the doctor this afternoon. It is probably my Thyroid they are trying to get working (not working) properly from the Grave’s Disease. We knew it wouldn’t be easy. I am grateful that I know what it’s like to feel like an alien. I have met many people with skin diseases. I get it now. It’s not fun.

It’s the most uncomfortable thing in the world. So, if I haven’t been by your blog like usual. This is why. My fingers are itching, or I’m in la la land from the Benadryl. And if you see the wump lump clan? Tell them to take a hike. Preferably to the land of no return.