Keep hope alive.

This was not the blog I sat down to write, but a Facebook memory popped up from a few years ago and erased the topic I intended to blog about. I finally stopped trying to write something else and gave in. Maybe someone needs this today, so here goes…

When I finished Stephen King’s “End of Watch” I was completely wrung out. I loved it-he’s a genius-but I have to say this book meant more to me than anything else he’s written.

Suicide is a weird, hard, and scary thing to talk about.

My grandfather committed suicide before I was born. It had a huge effect on my daddy, though he might not even know just how much. When he talks about his father, he tells funny stories about a loving man. They don’t match the other stories I’ve been told. At all. It’s heartbreaking.

He’s doing great now, married to someone he loves and loves him (not that my parents didn’t love each other, but that’s a completely different story for another day) has some land, all he ever really wanted-and is a recovering alcoholic. He doesn’t drink at all anymore, which is amazing. Even though my daddy worked hard every single day there were nights where he would pass out at the kitchen table before he finished his dinner. I would sit at the table until he finally went to bed, scared he would fall asleep on top of a mound of mashed potatoes or a couple of rogue brussel sprouts and suffocate. Mama wasn’t in much better shape than he was back then, she was fighting her own demons.

When I was little, I grew up afraid that my daddy would follow the path of his daddy. I hated coming home when his truck was in the driveway, why was he home early? I was afraid to open the door.

I would obsess over ways it might happen. Gun shot, hanging, slit wrists. Overdose, suffocation, electrocution, to the point of making myself sick.

I would have to work up the nerve to turn the doorknob to go inside-so afraid I would find him gone. He would laugh when I ran to give him a hug, “What’s up, Doc?” He’d ask, but I never told him what I was thinking, or why I was such a spaz.

A few years ago, I started having the same fears for myself. They’d always been there but I was at a point where I couldn’t ignore them anymore. I didn’t have anyone else to take care of, my son grown and married, didn’t need me anymore. It’s weird how stress and worry and loneliness can take over everything else. No matter how many friends you have-when you FEEL alone, you have to face some scary truths. And you have to work through them yourself.

Thank god, I’m no longer afraid. The pups saved me, but I still do obsess from time to time. Every time I hear of someone taking their life, it brings up those memories and it hurts in a way I can’t explain. I’m so thankful for my life, every bit of it, and I look forward to tomorrow.

The last page of this book felt like a personal message. One I had to share.

Life is good. Let it be. If we don’t give the kinks a chance to work themselves out we will miss ALL THE chances to see the good that’s coming, or the good that is around us already.

Don’t give up hope.

It’s the thing with feathers and it perches in every soul.

XO

13 thoughts on “Keep hope alive.

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  1. Every voice raised, every word said, any hope offered in a loving intervention with someone who’s lonely and scared, is a pearl of great price, Mandy. Thank you for your gift of caring.

  2. Thank you for this and your loving, caring heart. And thank you for sharing the last page of the book. Just the “devotional” I needed this morning. XOXO

  3. I sat in the floor and bawled like a baby at the end of End of Watch. The almost suicide story in my immediate family is not mine to share, so I will continue to honor that by not saying more about it. But there was a not to distant time when I held the same fear as yours about one of my loved ones.

  4. Fist thing that comes to mind is – bout damn time.
    Don’t know why that is. Thank you for this. In many ways.

  5. I’ve been thinking about this blog for a few days. The morning I read it I had woke up reflecting on a previous day at work that was pretty upsetting. Your words of wisdom to give the kinks a chance to work themselves out- really resonated with me. I’ve been keeping that close to my heart. And today- just as you said-they worked out & I was reminded of all the good around and all the good to come. XOXO

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