Observations after a long and difficult day

Today marked the 11 year anniversary of the day my sister’s van hit a combine in the fog, killing her instantly, and sending her off to wherever God takes His children. I wondered what specific day of the week she died on only to discover it was actually Tuesday. So today was actually the exact day she died 11 years ago.

Morbid, I know. But bear with me here…

My oldest niece took the day off work so we could celebrate the life of her mother by enjoying a relaxing day together. Little did I know that lunch would cause havoc in my intestines and ruin half the day. I swear I used almost every restroom in every store we pasted by!! We were in a shopping district and I found myself spending more time in the restrooms than shopping! After a long, rough day I found myself the only one still awake. I began to look back at my life as I scrolled through social media.

I have lived 6 years longer than my sister. She was 30 when she died and I will be 36 in April. During the years without her a lot has happened that I have been unable to share with her or talk to her about. When I had my second daughter, I needed an emergency c-section. She was a nurse and I know she would have been there for me during such a difficult time. But she was gone already.

I cannot help but play the what if game every year on October 30th. But I can’t do that anymore. It drives me crazy and just makes me feel sad.

I have learned some things about handling death since losing my older sister and brother (2007 and 2017). These are in the order I thought of them:

1) death is something we all face therefore since I know that I need to be prepared. Have a living will, God-parents for my children, and yes, assurance for my afterlife.

2) never, ever, ever bother to ask “why.” It only brings pain. Knowing why doesn’t take away the hurt of the loss. My sister is still gone.

3) I am not the only one who lost someone. My sister had kids, a husband, parents, 3 half brothers, aunts, uncles, etc. I miss her and am hurting and I am not alone.

4) Accept that she is gone and love the moments she was here. No, she isn’t coming back, but I have to think of the good times we had instead of struggling every day to be happy because I focus on missing her.

5) Someone else cares and I am loved. God does. He is there the moments I need and want Him, and waiting for me when I don’t. He is there and He loves me.

6) I must avoid ruining everyone else’s day just because I feel unhappy today. I know my sister died on October 30th, 2007, but the stranger checking my groceries out for me does not know. So I shouldn’t react unkindly toward the strangers who I think should treat me with kindness. I get what I give.

7) I remind myself every time I think of her (and my brother), I will see them again. It is within me to feel and know that we will all be reunited someday. That brings me hope that no human can take away.

8) there is no good day to die. Though some circumstances make it easier to let some people go, there is never a convenient time for a loved one to die. Hands down, it is never something I welcome. Death, for me, is the worst suffering of life. My sister died on my half birthday. I didn’t care because we never celebrated that day. But it kinda drives my point home…

I hope some of these observations provided some insight for some of you. And I hope I wasn’t too morbid on one of my least favorite days of the year.

Be blessed with a long and healthy life… emphasis on healthy!

Maggie A. ‘Spoon

(Written and published from my phone. Please forgive all random errors and spellcheck failures. I did my best on the fly.)

Blog #108…

everyone can make a difference… Can’t I?

It’s another tomorrow where I am awake in the early a.m. (12:37 to be precise), with so much on my mind I cannot bring myself to lay my head upon my pillow.

Warning: This is not one of my happiest moments so it may not be one of my happiest posts.

I began watching “Mr. Church” with my husband. It was a very good movie & though it had it’s highs and lows – tears and cheers – I enjoyed it… until I didn’t. Without spoiling it I will just say that a quote hit a little too close to home. “You thought I saved you, but you saved me.” I lost it. I completely lost it. I am even struggling to type without crying.

In June of 2017 my brother, Dennis Mann, died. I don’t know any of the specifics of how he died and probably never will until I’m in Heaven with him and it doesn’t matter anymore.  But I do know that he wasn’t happy in the end of his life and it hurts… What hurts is that he pushed me away and therefore I couldn’t be there to help him when he was unhappy.

I know happiness is a choice and no one can ever truly make someone else happy. A person either feels happy or they do not. Plain and simple, right? But no. It is not simple.  Happiness is fleeting but joy is eternal as they say. But my dear cousin recently reminded me that there is an enemy out there trying to steal my joy. He will use any and all means possible. Yes, even movie clips.

[There are so many things I wish I could say. So many things I wish I could write. But in this crazy world where “everyone” is out to get you, I feel like I cannot always speak my mind entirely.]

A new friend recently called  me to accountability though. I have been promising myself and God I would write a book about my life and everything I have been through — including those things I cannot say or write in a public blog. And yet, where is this book? It is in journal after journal waiting to be written. I have been writing this book since I was in my mid-teens and it is still in pieces.

Why? Because of FEAR. I fear what my life would be like if the truth of my past came out. What would people think about me? What would people think about those I write about? Would people even read my stupid book? Very few people read my blog so what makes me think anyone would want to read a book that is pretty much all my blogs severely expanded.

Those are the thoughts that run through my mind when I think about writing and publishing my book. But those thoughts are all wonky. What does it matter what people think? Every writer, good or bad, has a fair share of critics. And if one person reads my book it would be worth all the trouble. My new friend who convicted me to write helped me to realize how therapeutic such a book would me for me.  So I know it would not be worthless.

Then I think of one of my favorite quotes:

OnepersonshouldmakeadifferenceJFK

But I remove the try…because there is no try – there is do or do not. I do. I mean I will. I AM. I do make a difference every day that I wake up, get up and parent my kids. I will make a difference with my book and I will finish it. And I AM making a difference by who I AM.

So what started out as a cry-fest, thinking the whole world was crashing around me, turned into a post ending with a slight smile and an appreciation for the life I have now.

Rest in peace, Dennis Mann. I love you. Always did and always will.

Thanks for reading my pity party.  I appreciate all my readers.

Sincerely,

Maggie A. ‘Spoon

 

Nike Says…

Nike says… but consider their logo. Consider the correlation. This is part of my massage journey.

“JUST DO IT!”

Ever consider that their slogan is “just do it,” while their logo is likened to a check mark, which symbolizes completion? It is almost as if, to me, it says, “Just go for it, until it is completed. See it through.”

This is where I am in life right now. SO much is growing and changing. I cannot share it all right now, but I can say that becoming a massage therapist is the greatest educational choice I have ever made! I am loving it, even if my clients are currently sparse.

It all began when my brother died. Well actually it began 14 years ago with a conference… but my brother’s death jumpstarted my career in a strange way. My older brother, Dennis, died in June of last year. I considered to myself the seemingly amazing and exciting life he lived. He was married with a son and he traveled around the world. He went to many places including Japan, Australia, and to Europe (several times), all in the span of about 25 years. He held multiple Master’s degrees on various subjects — I don’t even know what they are all about! On the outside looking in, Dennis was destined for greatness. And while I believe he was great, due to his death he fell short. Additionally, many people who knew him best know that Dennis struggled. It is not my place to share his story, but I can say that he for sure struggled…

I have found that many people who are very intelligent often struggle or are tormented with their own thorns or demons. After thinking about it for a moment I realize that everyone struggles with something.

Perhaps it is marriage, or the lack thereof, or kids and all the challenges with that. Perhaps it is work that causes some kind of mental suffering. But whatever it is, show me a person who has never struggled or suffered or experienced anything negative and I will show you a person in denial.

My point got away from me… my struggles have made me who I am, up to and including becoming a massage therapist. If Dennis hadn’t died, who knows if I would have gotten that push. The push was, “Dennis did so much, saw so much, and accomplished so much… what about me?”

It was a thoughtful process to go to school in the midst of grief. But I am so glad I did. It made grieving much more bearable because I wasn’t alone. I had my peers and my teachers, many of which helped a great deal.

A shout out to Ms. Theresa, Ms. Karla and Ms. Kristen. Each one of them formed who I have become so far as a budding massage therapist. I thank God for each of them crossing my path and I wish them well.

May your path be blessed today and always.

(Sent from my phone so forgive any errors.)

Maggie A. ‘Spoon

True Colors

True Colors – this one was tough for me. I had to get it out though. I hope you understand where I am coming from.

Preface: My brother was a genius, but like every other human was not without his faults, hang-ups, problems, and things that irritate others. I wrote this letter to him but never sent it, and now he is dead, out of my life… for what will feel like forever. I was reluctant to post this but I felt a need to do so.

I found this amazing version of the song “True Colors” by a group named “Groove For Thought.”  I was inspired to search for it because I love to find A Capella versions of songs and my brother, Dennis, had said that the song “True Colors” reminded him of me.

Dear Dennis,

The last words from your proverbial mouth through your emails were unkind, uncaring, and devoid of love but not lacking in emotion. You even went as far as to say even if I needed to be hospitalized again, do not bother calling because you weren’t there for me anymore. It hurt so bad because I thought we had made up our struggles and disagreements. I was so hoping we could still be friends. But when you sent that final nasty email to me, my dear husband had no other recourse of action but to cut you out of my life until you could come to realize your part in our disagreements and apologize for your part. He knew you were doing more harm than good. Therefore, he told you to contact him before contacting me. Nothing was heard from you and I feel sad.

The song “True Colors” came on and it made me think of you for two reasons: 1) you said that song reminded you of me, and 2) I want to show you my true colors.

I may have “sad eyes” and may not smile as often as I should. I often feel discouraged when the world is full of people who misunderstand me. Sometimes the darkness inside me makes me feel so small. Sometimes this world makes me feel crazy because it is more than I can bear. But my true colors are much like a rainbow.

Red – I am full of love. I do my very best to show the love of Christ to others and though I know I fail sometimes, I hope the love still shines through the clouds in my life.

Orange – I show caution with trusting others sometimes because I have been hurt by those closest to me. People I should have been able to trust with my very life have stabbed me in the back and caused me extreme pain.

Yellow – When I do smile, it is genuine. I don’t always feel happy. But when I do, I make sure it shows. And even when I don’t feel happy, I do my best to still smile a little and extend kindness in an effort to lift up others.

Green – I am always growing. I refuse to be someone who is stagnant like an old marsh. No. I am continually growing and changing to become someone better; more like Christ. I work hard at this and though I may fail, I am learning to extend grace to myself.

Blue – I have sorrow and sadness and blue days just like everyone else. But I don’t let myself get stuck there. I let the clouds pass and eventually the sun shines through. And when it does, I let my smile show and I embrace those moments of happiness.

Indigo – the darkness inside can be so smothering… but it isn’t without purpose. God, I know, does work out things for good and I can be a part of that “Working out” by doing my best to do the Lord’s will in my life and affect others for Christ.

Violet – I have scars and old wounds and bruises. I am not without past hurts and I am sure future hurts will occur. But I don’t focus on the hurts to come. I focus on what those scars mean to me. They mean I am an overcomer.

I am an overcomer. I am continually working to overcome many past hurts, pains, struggles, trials, and tests. And as I continue to grow, I pray for you. Prayer is all I have for you at this point. I cannot reach out to you. My husband has instructed me to let you be until you reach out to him. Additionally, after such an awful email I feel like you do owe me an apology. It really hurt. Not really because it rang true but because you did what you know how to do – you sent zingers. You hit me in the spots you knew were soft. How could you bring up Mary? She is dead. I cannot make amends with her or anything she has said or done.

But I don’t want this bridge to be burned. Our relationship is valuable to me, so I am in prayer for you. God bless you.

Dear God,

Forgive me for any wrong doing in my relationship with Dennis. May I do what is right in your eyes.

Forgive him for his unkind words and actions. May he see himself through your eyes – someone you love and care for – and also see his flaws and desire to change them. May he be repentant and also forgiving.


I believe Dennis, if he were at his best, would not have said what he said. I choose to believe in his heart of hearts he loved me. That is what I choose to hold on to – the love he had for me in his heart and the good times we did have.

There are many hard parts about this loss as compared to the other losses in my life. My sister died in 2007, but honestly this death is so different from hers but not any less significant. The differences are that I got to say goodbye to my sister. We were moving from NC to OR and she came to say goodbye to me; we hugged and cried a little and I felt her love. I felt no such love from Dennis in the final moments I spent with him and I certainly didn’t get to say goodbye in any good form. The pain of losing them both cannot be compared but as it has been 10 years since my sister died and I feel more peace. With Dennis, I feel so much hurt that sometimes it overcomes me and I literally feel like sorrow is sitting on my chest like an elephant sitting on a peanut and I am being crushed by the overwhelming sense of loss.

I didn’t just lose a brother or a friend. I lost a future with Dennis. I will experience Heaven with him but nothing more on this earth. That hurts something awful as well.

In all this I have learned many things; much of which I have already shared in previous blogs. I hope you go back and read them and glean some sort of knowledge or wisdom that helps you keep from making mistakes I have made or going through the same trials I have gone through.

MASQuote1
(Note: A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov 15:1)

May he rest in peace and may I see him again but not too soon.

God bless you today and always.

Super Momma Maggie

This is a link to the song I am referring to: True Colors on YouTube

This is a link to the lyrics of the song: True Colors Lyrics