The Mask

I was reminded of this poem from my book, Reflections in Silhouette: Poems while working on the blog post, Masks of Me . I decided to share it. The Mask One day I put on a mask To make you love me Not because you asked But because I feared The look in your eyes Disappointment, I believe it was So I  Settled the mask into place Tweaked it Made it beautiful Perfected it to make you happy Created exactly what Made you smile Turned the look in your eye to approval Made you love me As time passed I deceived myself I accepted the mask as The real me I forgot who I was under The mask When the mask cracked As they will  I quickly – before anyone could see Plastered the cracks Filled in the holes Blended the paint Hid the damaged and weakened foundation Corrected its imperfections Settled the mask back into place When the mask slipped As they will I quickly – before anyone could see Pushed it around to make it fit Smoothed the borders Adjusted it so you wouldn’t notice Ignored the ever rotting

Masks of Me

For much of my life, every time I let me out to play, work, or live, something went wrong. Someone would hurt me, or I would hurt someone.  I’d lose a friend. I would disappoint someone. I’d see that look of judgment. Mostly though I ended up feeling like I didn't belong, that I didn't fit in, that something was wrong with me. I would then retreat behind my mask and secure it in place. I was reminded of how prevalent my mask has been in my life recently while reading  Love Warrior  by Glennon Doyle. She describes her representative in much the same way I've often described putting on my mask for the world. Her descriptions of her reactions to expectations and conformity lined up far more with my experience than I want to acknowledge. I squirmed in my seat every time she referred to her representative. In fact, I kept wanting to change the word representative to mask because it lined up so well with my experience with my mask. I was drawn back to Glennon's description of

Me Me Me

Me Me Me Meme May 7, 2009-March 31, 2021 (for Meme )   Your tiny face looked up Introducing you not by name But by attitude You would not be forgotten A week later you reminded us You belonged in our home And then you introduced yourself To the kitten in my arms Claimed him in your charming way And home with us you both came. This was your home On naughty days and nice days Your cute face looking up  Reintroducing yourself every time Making sure we never forgot you Knew who you were and what you wanted Always letting us know you chose us Until the very last moment When we had to let you go I hope you never regretted your choice We did our best to make your life  As wonderful as you made ours Every time you looked up and said Me me me…

In Loving Tribute to Meme

Meme May 7, 2009-March 31, 2021 Meme (pronounced Me-Me) died on March 31, 2021 at Albany Animal Hospital with her humans by her side. She was born Stitch in a Safehaven Humane Society foster home in Oregon on May 7, 2009.  She chose us as her new family in July 2009 when we met her at Safehaven.  From the moment she joined our family, she made her presence known and earned her new name with her adorably sweet "me me me" ways. She was affectionate and opinionated. She was attached to her humans and didn't care for strangers. She hated being outside but would watch our every move (and the neighbors, too) from the window.  She loved dragging her fishy pole all over the house, up and down the stairs, to drop at our feet and demand we play with her. She loved to sit on our laps or to hide under covers with equal devotion. She complained loudly whenever I unloaded the dishwasher. She loved nutritional yeast and catnip. Meme communicated in numerous ways from intense looks, to

Idle Hands

Daddy with a few of the Case tractors he restored Idle Hands (for Daddy )   Never one for idle hands You created and built A lifetime of memories and moments You left behind a legacy Of love and hard work You handed your family The callouses you earned On hands never idle Held to the very end In love and understanding Your hands building and rebuilding Making the old new again Seeing the puzzle of the broken As a challenge to make whole again What others couldn’t see Those hands never idle Even to the very end Taking care of everyone With actions greater than words Rest now Let your loving, calloused hands finally be idle

In Loving Tribute to My Daddy

January 16, 1947-March 22, 2021 Gary “Dean” Cooper, age 74, resident of Tollesboro, Kentucky, died surrounded by family on March 22, 2021 in Maysville, Kentucky.  He was born on January 16, 1947 in Lewis County to the late Arthur and Georgia Cooper. Dean was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather who took great pride and joy in his children and grandchildren. He spent his life connected to the land as a farmer and a logger. He was also a gifted mechanic. Never one for idle hands, he started restoring Case tractors in his retirement and always had several restorations in the works. He is survived by his wife, Glenda, two daughters, T. L. (Loay), and Tonya (Charlie), three grandchildren, Kenisha (Tristan), Kaylee (Austin), and Tyler, and one great-grandson, Brayden. He is also survived by six sisters, and a brother. He is preceded in death by two brothers. If you’d like to plant a tree in Dean’s honor, please visit The Gifted Tree . Daddy, thank you for making me the woman

2020 - Sighs!

  Here we are again... At the end of another year! I had such big plans for 2020! Yeah.... Sighs! I really want to write some empowering, inspiring, hopeful words right now, but they're not coming. They will come again but not today. I have never been one to think the clock ticking over to a new year is anything more than arbitrary. It changes nothing other than the number we have to write on dated material and resetting the tax year... It doesn't make us more whatever it is we want to be. It doesn't erase whatever bad we want to ignore. It doesn't change our habits or goals or daily lives. There is some comfort in that as well as some discomfort in it. It would be nice if that tick would actually reset things and make them better. If it would push us into a new phase or place or purpose, but it doesn't. I hear many people saying things like "I can't wait for this year to be over." and I've even caught myself saying it. Then I wonder why. I know th