Introspective Adventurer

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Category: blog (page 2 of 20)

Girl power – standing up for what is right

John and I went to see Captain Marvel on Sunday, and wow was it good! It is so gratifying to see movies with strong female protagonists.

So the next morning when I needed to go to a legal proceeding, I decided to harness a little Captain Marvel power of my own. The hearing was the kind where the client is not invited to participate or even be in the room. No, my assigned role was to sit in the lobby and wait until my attorney came out to give me the low-down.

But I decided I didn’t like that option.

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Writing can be hazardous to your health

I am sorry I haven’t shared a blog post for a week now, but there is a reason why.

My dog ate it!

No that’s not the truth. I am not having writer’s block and it’s not that I don’t have more to share either. Here is the deal, I hurt myself writing.

Yep, I am not joking.

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Amazing Grace by John P. Gavin

When John went back home to get me clean clothes after my accident, he gathered my things and sat outside for a few moments. He told me he was so proud of me and how gracefully I handled the situation and that he sang, “Amazing Grace” for me.

That is how he came to the title of this post.

Amazing Grace

When I was 10, my Aunt came to live with us.

That may not seem like a big deal; but since my family is from Ireland, it meant she had to travel about five thousand miles to do so.

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The Marrying Kind

When John asked me to marry him, the first word out of my mouth was “No.” The look of surprise on his face made me want to take it back. The poor guy was standing on a big boulder holding my hands and asking me a question he thought he would never ask anyone again.

But I had made a promise to myself that John didn’t know about.

I was just a few months shy of 54, and life had thrown me some curveballs when it came to romance and especially marriage. If you have been reading my blog, you know this was not my first proposal…or even second.

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The Real Trouble with Valentine’s Day

The reason John chose to ask me to marry him on February 13, 2013, was because it was February 13, 2012, when he told me he could never see us getting together. Ever.

Guest post: John P. Gavin – The Real Trouble with Valentine’s Day

(This was the first column in a long time I didn’t send to Loretta to proofread before sending it to my editor, and that felt weird. I didn’t send it because she broke up with me the day before, albeit with good reason.
But I didn’t want to see that yet.
So I was annoyed – and a little shook up – and very cranky.
Let’s see if any of that comes across in the column).

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The Love Bug

The weeks after my accident were, in a strange way, some of the best in my life. I know that sounds odd, but you need to remember my past experiences of being taken care of were not such stellar memories.

I’ve never had anyone dote on me like John did during those weeks of recovery. He wrote down all medications and times I’d taken what and made sure I was taking a probiotic to offset the antibiotic prescribed by my doctor.

He drove me to doctor visits and physical therapy and he even helped me with my hair. I could hardly go to the bathroom without him wanting to assist me. I felt completely spoiled and cared for by the man I loved, and it was the first time in my life I’d experienced that.

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Everything will be okay

As I stood on the deck holding my left hand, I could feel the void and knew what had happened. I also knew I couldn’t look at it. I just stood there trying to breathe through the burning pain I felt in my left thumb.

With my eyes squeezed shut, I kept saying out loud, “It burns! It burns”! Within seconds John was at my side talking to me and leading me into the house.

Grabbing a towel from the kitchen, he told me to turn away so he could see the extent of the injury. Talking in quiet, hushed tones, he assured me everything would be okay; but I had a hard time believing him in that moment.

John wrapped my hand with the towel and put an ice pack on it and told me he’d be right back. What was probably just a few minutes felt like an eternity; so I called out to John asking where he was. He came back into the house and said, “Looking for your thumb, honey.”

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Fixing things

When John and I got the news his sentence would be community service, we were overjoyed. Over the coming months, we worked side by side at the Boys & Girls Club repainting interiors, working with the kids and helping out with special money raising events.

I had been a volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club before, and it was a natural fit to pick that charity to help. John was in his element as a natural Mr. Fix-it and was happy to help out an organization in need.

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Pursue your spark

I was delighted to be featured on Heike Yates – Pursue Your Spark podcast last week. I met Heike over a year ago through Facebook and enjoy her energy and enthusiasm for life.

She brings a positive spirit to everything she does and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with her. Her goal is to help women in midlife live a healthy lifestyle by developing simple, balanced nutrition, fitness and lifestyle programs.

She has developed a reputation for creating real-life solutions and lasting results. My interview with her was fun and enlightening. Heike’s spark shows in everything she does.

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In Service

As the autumn breeze cooled the air, my heart filled with warmth when John uttered those three words he had said to me months earlier. Not only had he said, “I love you,” but I also knew he meant it. Perhaps it was the fear of his uncertain future, but in that moment I didn’t care.

A month later we were sitting together on a bench outside Courtroom A waiting for John’s trial to begin, neither of us wanting to show the anxiety we both felt. I could sense John’s fidgeting before he stood up and announced he needed to use the bathroom.

I watched him walk away and noticed his usual swagger was absent. From the moment I met John, he had an air of confidence that I knew didn’t always match what he was feeling inside. That day he couldn’t mask the anxiety he was feeling, and I noticed his shoulders weren’t as square as usual.

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Affairs of the heart

On the drive home from the airport, John was all smiles. He kept glancing over at me and saying how much he’d missed me. He was grinning ear to ear, and it was nice to see him happy.

Once home, I invited him to stay and have dinner so we could catch up. He happily grabbed my suitcase with a bounce in his step and said that he would love to stay.

As with so many other times in the past we sat on my deck and shared food, laughs and the things about ourselves we wanted each other to know.

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I Have Some ‘Splaining to Do – Guest post by John Gavin

“Recognizing the absurdity of his request, he tried to explain. It wasn’t about seeing her so he could win her back but rather about seeing her so he could release the perceived hold she had over him.

I tried very hard to understand…”

Those words were written very recently by Loretta, the woman I love; the only woman I’ve ever loved this way. But I once told Loretta I wanted to borrow her car to go talk to an ex-girlfriend.

What the hell?

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Deep-Rooted Friendship

A few days after breaking up with John he called to see how I was doing. I think he was surprised to hear I was fine. I was sad our romantic relationship had ended, but we had grown a strong friendship over the past year that neither of us could easily give up.

A place to think

I told John I had some things of his and asked if he’d like to meet for coffee.

Starbucks seemed an appropriate place to meet up since that was where the seeds of our friendship had first sprouted. It would be good to see him and to return his personal things.

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The Elephant in the Room

The summer of 2012 was filled with so many highs and lows I honestly don’t even like recalling it, and the ratio of highs to lows was unbalanced in the wrong direction. John and I not only had to deal with the snail’s pace of the legal system, but also the uncertainty of love.

John had told me he loved me one night back in April, but after the accident failed to remember he’d said it or that he even felt it. He spent the entire summer wondering if he’d let ‘the right one’ get away.

And he didn’t mean me.

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How to write a book

I promised myself I’d spend January researching how to write a book; so I sat down with Stephen King and gleaned some valuable information, “On Writing.”

I learned a few rules from JK Rowling too including, “Be ruthless about protecting writing days…” And this rule that actually made me feel better about going for it, “Failure is inevitable – make it a strength…”

Somewhere I read the best thing to do is to write how you talk, which is easy for me since that’s exactly how I write. I love Seth Godin’s quote, “No one ever gets talker’s block.”

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Critiques with sprinkles on top

I asked a question in my “Let’s do this Together” Facebook group the other day and it got me thinking and most of the time the best way I figure things out is to write it out.

Have you ever felt like you wanted to tell someone something that you thought would help but could also hurt his or her feelings?

Yeah, I know, pretty vague.

But my point isn’t a specific situation as much as a broad question about us as a society right now.

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Time to Bail?

I never dreamed I’d need to know anything about how bail works or the process of navigating the legal system to get a loved one out of jail. But as soon as John was taken into custody, I knew I was about to learn. So I stood up on shaky legs and left the courthouse to call the number I’d been handed by the bail bondsman.

The young woman on the phone said she would meet me outside the courthouse and asked if I had my checkbook with me.

Sitting outside in the sunshine at a picnic table, I couldn’t help thinking about the stark difference of that beautiful warm summer day and the cold reality of John behind bars.

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Running with scissors

I remember feeling melancholy while driving home after dropping John off at his apartment. It was the first moment I had alone since bringing him home after the accident.

So much had happened in the prior weeks, and I had no idea where our future would go or if I even wanted one with John.

I knew the man he once was and wondered if that guy would ever come back.

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The semi-superhero

I don’t recall why we made the decision for John to come stay with me after being released from the hospital. But there he was, stitched up swollen lips and broken teeth sitting on my deck drinking coffee from a straw.

He had doctor’s orders not to drive because they were still trying to figure out the extent of his brain injury. So there I was waiting on him and nursing him back to health.

The guy who forgot he’d said, “I love you Loretta” to me the night before the accident.

The one who was facing a felony charge for running from the cops, and the man who now looked more like Sloth from Goonies than Michael Fassbender’s Magneto.

What the hell was I thinking?

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Lost moments, forgotten words

When John was finally coherent enough to communicate, the first question I asked was, “What the hell were you thinking?”

He was brought into the emergency room with nothing but a helmet and his wallet. His motorcycle crash was so severe, his clothes were cut off at the scene in order to save his life.

While his life was spared, his memory was not. He had no recollection of what happened.

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