Some months have gone by since my last entry into this chronicle of Gunner’s life. He’s already more than 5 months old and in all honesty, these months have felt far longer, while they also felt like they were rushing by – like a train. It is almost August, now… so deep summer here in AZ and my husband and I are anchored into our drama free life in the desert.
Gunner is now home on Maui! His parents are elated and, initially they were a bit frightened by the immensity of what was before them. Especially Sarah has been 24/7 with her baby boy, keeping him fed, bathed, changed and loved. Jacob is the consummate father; working every day, coming home and helping with whatever is required and being a rock for both his wife and son. Impressive, to say the least. More on all this later, for now I’ll return to February 25, 2022.
Tiny hand holding pre-surgery.
The morning of Gunner’s 2nd surgery dawned with anticipation and fear. Anytime someone you love goes under general anesthesia, not to mention major surgery where loads can go wrong, any self possessed human would have some trepidation. We all did.
At this point, we had secured a condo in a high rise downtown and loads of homeless people wandered around night and day. Not a vacation spot or in possession of exceptional views of the ocean, but comfortable enough. Jacob and I woke up early to make our way to the hospital (only one person could stay overnight with Gunner, so his papa tried to get the sleep he needed, as did I).
Sarah was getting herself emotionally ready for the surgery, while she tended to Gunner along with the attendant nurses. Much occurs prior to surgery, so in Gunner’s case Sarah wanted to give him as much ‘skin to skin’ contact as possible (her instincts & anxiety gave her so many alarm bells, she insisted she to do this with him). Lab work commenced around 4 am and medical team had to put in a new IV (the former one had already been removed a few days prior). This took some time, but as much as Sarah could manage, she insisted on skin to skin snuggles with her boy. The possibility he wouldn’t make it through this 2nd surgery caused his mother to savor every moment she had with him and she steeled herself for all the possibilities inherent in a week old child going into another major surgery within a week of being born.
By 7:30 am, the surgical team was ready to take him down to the surgery theatre and left his mother behind, crying in the NICU halls. As a mother myself, my memories of how I felt regarding protecting my babies when they were so young and vulnerable, rushed into my consciousness. It took a mighty detour for Sarah to allow this precious, fragile child of her’s to be wheeled away.What a fucking warrior my daughter is!
Jacob and I got to the hospital right when the team took Gunner to the surgery area so the three of us gathered in the cafeteria where Sarah and I ordered two dirty chai’s, a big cup of coffee for Jacob and some grubby food. Then we all settled as a cautious, huddled group of worried, yet hopeful humans.
We were all pulling for Gunner to make it through this surgery which, if successful, could help him immensely. Putting the two ends of his intestines back together could have one of two effects. One would be his small intestine could begin to grow and extend. The other it would not. Either way, Gunner had an uncertain future, but completely vital in every way, aside from his intestine. His body was strong, healthy and all his major organs worked perfectly.
When Jacob and I arrived at the hospital, Sarah had already been getting Gunner ready for this next stage in his life. She was so tired, in every way, yet her spirits were steady. As steady as a mother can be under these incredible circumstances. At 7:30 the team came to the NICU to pick Gunner up and take him away.
savoring every minute with him.
Sarah dissolved into a million bits and a cascade of tears streamed down her cheeks, but she mustered up her faith in him; that Gunner would not only survive, but thrive with this experimental surgery.
This procedure was not generally done so soon. Reconnecting the two ends of the severed intestine is normally conducted after many weeks of being earthside, but the lead surgeon told us he kept ‘thinking’ the best course of action was to connect the two ends of Gunner’s small intestine right away.
To me, spirit was moving through this pragmatic and scientific human’s mind and urging a radical intervention for our boy. This old witch just smiled knowingly as I listened to this man – close to my age and experience in life – mumble about how he didn’t know why he thought this was a good idea, but how sure he was that it was. My inside voice said, ‘Alhamdulillah’ (“praise be to God” in Arabic) to this news and the way Source is such a sneaky resource to us humans.
Lab work began around 3:30 am, a new IV had to be installed into his tiny body (which was no easy feat), waivers and documents needed to be signed, loads of information about the procedure explained and as much as she could, Sarah insisted on skin to skin contact with her boy. The idea that he would be cut open again was staggering, yet the faith the 3 of
Papa post surgery with his brave little man.
us had was in equal measure.
We made our way to the cafeteria where we talked, we cried, we felt loads of emotions and I mostly listened to these young parents. They were so new at being parents, yet so skilled at being in that position already. They both KNEW they needed to be incredibly brave and full of faith in the process they found themselves in. Their courage was so inspiring to me, as I have NEVER faced this level of the unknown with an infant.
If I could only be so brave in life, I thought.
In a few hours, word got to us little Gunner was out of surgery and doing well. He was ALIVE and he made it through another trial. Sarah & Jacob rushed up to her NICU room to wait for Gunner’s return… and Tutu went about the business of gathering up what we needed to keep going in Honolulu, HI.
We just kept taking one step, then another…and this became how our days went. Inside of a week we were becoming accustomed to the trauma informed life we were leading. Looking back, I can still recall how I felt in the early months of 2022. Fractured, hollowed out, frightened, sleepless and so utterly grateful for all the tiny moments I had with this tiny little human named Gunner.
We decided that living far away from everything was a good idea for loads of reasons.
Our Salukis needed vast spaces to run.
Housing costs are stupid in California AND said Salukis kept giving us poison oak, regardless of our home’s location in Cali.
My job was “eliminated” (read; myself & my boss, the president & founder of her company, weren’t included in the hostile takeover of HER company).
My children all grew up & moved to other places (all but one of the six).
We started a global business that didn’t require living in a particular place, just a connection to the internet.
My husband is a Big Wall Rock Climber and travels all over doing that anyway.
What we didn’t consider was what living remotely means when it comes to having reliable internet, having cell reception, living off the grid and how hard that can be, developing community amidst hostile, fearful neighbors (who probably moved here so they could “protect” themselves from all kinds of unsavory sorts… like me).
It’s not easy.
Last night, after my regular Thursday trip into town for my volunteer position helping little kids have fun (this is a 36 mile drive on a 2 lane hwy), I rushed home to feed the dogs and could hardly get the gate closed. The wind was fierce. Like “hard to close the front door with two hands” kind of fierce.
No worries, I’m strong…
Got the dogs fed and settled into dinner for myself and had the notion of logging into my computer to see what sort of fuckery occurred in Washington.
Um … nope. No connection.
It was too dark to see whether the satellite dish was still in place on the roof and frankly, it wasn’t the end of the world to be offline for the night. But, I had a boat load of pressing work to do that required being able to connect and I prayed it would be resolved by morning.
No such luck…
No problem. Got a little breakfast, packed up my business bag and headed up to the National Park entrance area where I could do my work… and I was met with shades of 1996 and the internet. Sloooooowwwwww… doesn’t come close to what happened. Or you could say, fast/slow/fast/slow/fast… sloooowwwww. Somehow I managed to get the car registered, post the shit I was asked to post and get home before the next wave of wind, sleet and snow pelted me.
My work is important to me but my professional life has always taken a back seat to my spiritual & family life. After years of being involved at every level of business (retail, wholesale, consulting, direct sales, writing, teaching, healing… ), I had little to show for it… Financially, that is. My resume is awesome… but meh. Who really gives a shit about that any more?
We get by just fine, but I’m out of real excuses for being marginally successful. Kids are grown, I’m always in a meditative space out here, things feel good. My life is pretty fucking dreamy…
Wandering through a landscape of sorts, but the particulars are lost on me as I become conscious. Fleeting imagery, sensations of dark invaders, credit card debt and political intrigue. It’s all jumbled together and I struggle to be relieved of it all. Seems best to get up and make some coffee, rather than get all deep about it.
The intrigue of my unconscious state isn’t a novel experience, it simply happens and the night comes into light without much noise or fanfare. What happens in the dark of night is meaningless — isn’t it?
Lately though, there is a clear danger in remaining unaware. Revolution is brewing, but too many are quibbling about what lawyer was fired, or what to do about health care, or who gets a tax break and whether our election was decided by another country. The obvious failure of human decency has retreated into a history lesson my descendants may read — if the whole world isn’t destroyed. But life still goes on and I’m breathing in and out without much thought about all that.
The other day I had yet another run in with my mother. A simple phone call forced me to chose between being considerate and being right – and consideration always wins, between her and I. At least for me. There’s no way to be righteous in the face of that kind of exchange and impossible to turn away from what I know she gave me. Forget that it was a brief exchange of blood and bones, cells and consciousness. It’s been done, whether I intended any of it or not. We lose precious ground by insisting on clarity at times with some people. Best to admit to a departure from kindness, regardless of the insanity of the exchange. Best to try to grasp what’s at stake when my fragile superiority wins out, rather than respect for another person— regardless of anything.
In that intimate exchange, I see the value of extending the same consideration towards strangers. Soothing unrest with more cruelty or judgement is ridiculous, but it’s common now. Regular people are feuding back and forth, hurling insults, drawing invisible lines and questioning each other’s humanity because our realities don’t match up.
The eternity of life feels beyond my reach. How many lifetimes do we live before we actually sense of our power? Are my furtive dreams even that important, or just prickly reminders that not everything has been revealed? And maybe this revolution I sense coming, is really an evolution. If so, it’s simply too complicated to watch. Much like watching metamorphosis in real time. The impossibility of a worm seeing itself become a butterfly.
Dreaming of the president this morning felt more like a nightmare. It was like I was walking up endless stairs and I couldn’t get off of them. They kept going higher and more treacherous, but there was no way off.
His 180 turn in last night’s speech to Congress, in terms of how he presented his views and intentions, made me sick. To be honest, I am struggling with the simple fact that I didn’t listen in real time to it. Only after it happened and after my morning dream. Then I merely read the transcript of his speech. To say that I feel angry is putting it mildly. On a level I know it would be wise to want things to go well for this man. He is “my” president, so it’s best for me if he succeeds…
The struggle for me is because I am so against anything he has to say. My mind rejects absolutely everything that comes out of his small mouth & stimulates a feeling of intense disconnect — I know that I am prejudiced towards him. What if he really could help people in our country with his notions of taxing companies & people less, eliminating immigrants, discounting climate change and amping up pipelines’ being built? What if he really does give a shit and I’m being completely biased towards him and this fucked up administration that’s supposed to be mine?
But there’s this. How can an educated, mindful and concerned citizen accept anything he says as honest? Lies are all he has spewed for months. He appears to lie about everything, so much so that he believes his own bullshit. If I’m honest, I simply can’t unravel it all. News sites are visibly trying to be fair, but I can’t — or won’t.
In the early hours this morning, I was restless. Images of such an unwelcome person in my private space were strong, vivid and unsettling. After what felt like hours, I finally threw the covers back and wandered towards the kitchen. It’s like I’m preparing for the news every morning, where our country is thrown into a new wave of cruelty at the hands of this man and his horrible minions. A profound level of separation within our own borders, between citizens, neighbors and families, producing something never seen before in our history.
This morning, I made my coffee and went outside to take in the sunrise, only to find myself wandering through this weird, surreal landscape of a time in my own personal story. In horror, I watched as a former abuser in my life, was elevated to a new height of acceptance by the world, while I — another sorry victim of his abuse — witnessed his elevation and success. The part of my soul that he stole meant nothing. My voice was weak and unheard and usually, isn’t that how it goes? Those who suffer are usually discounted or seen as “collateral damage” or whiney victims. Less human and more a statistic. How many of us are in that category, while people who have stolen, cheated and manipulated others are elevated to heights of power, much like this poor excuse for a leader we now have?
In his speech, he brought attention to the widow of the Navy Seal who was killed during the botched raid in Yeman. While that could be viewed as thoughtful on his part, in my view it was unconscionable. While he brought attention to her pain & tremendous loss, he manipulated the masses to see his action as a lofty symbol of patriotism. Then we all clap for 2+ minutes for this woman, and that will prove how fucking caring we all are. Forget that by most accounts, he put little to no attention towards the enacting of this particular raid or the success of that mission. Then when it went completely wrong, he blamed Obama & the generals involved rather then be accountable. He made the decision, but others are responsible even for that. One can’t argue about his constancy. True to form form, nothing is ever his fault or responsibility. He merely points and shifts to foist the blame elsewhere. Unless he appears amazing, he has nothing to do with it. But, what does that mean for all of us going forward?
Living life in my skin provides a particular kind of challenge. Things happen, I don’t know exactly what the happenings are, but vague details are delivered to me anyway… Then the actual account is heard or seen. This leaves me with something treacherous and uniquely alarming. Are the inner workings distorted and I’m unable to give this guy a chance, or am I being given a truthful account of his very nature and the foresight that we are all going to suffer greatly because of his narcissistic illness? Normalizing this kind of man and his machinations of leadership is what is now occurring and it feels like there’s nothing I can do about that.
Time will tell, but I sure wish that I didn’t have this “gift” of foresight. Psychic, empathic, otherworldly knowing does not comfort me right now.
This is a very personal experience for me, as one of my daughters was groped by Trump when she was only 15. One of the many women he grabbed, but none of that seems important. That event burns in me. Taking my own child’s innocence that way makes him the worst kind of criminal. No part of me feels compelled to be understanding, will not normalize this person’s behavior, cannot accept that he is now the president.
Four years feels like a terribly long time to endure this nightmare. As I actively resist his presidency, pray for truth to be bared for all and insist on his being called to account for his crimes on humanity, I suffer the nightly visits from a person who I despise.
That’s what’s most alarming to me. The feeling I have towards someone I have never met. Hatred is not a familiar feeling in this little body of mine, but right now — this morning — it’s where I’ve landed. This is my struggle & my opportunity.
Somehow I must remember this man I find repugnant does have a small light of truth within him somewhere.
It’s only 9 am, so maybe I’ll be able to rise above this today.
Weeks… maybe months have gone by as I have worked on my website. The moon has waxed and waned, another grandchild was born, a number of people have laughed and cried in my life and I find myself in a place of wonder. Not the kind of stunning wonder about how remarkable life is, but the kind that has me considering how I can help others achieve peace and success.
Just yesterday a long time client was in tears because all the work she’s done to improve her life and businesses seems to be for naught. People who she’s recently employed were loudly exclaiming at her front desk how great another studio is doing while her’s is struggling. Why, if she is following truth, is it not producing consistent growth and income for her? Not only that, she learned of a recent teacher who left their studio on her own terms, is lying about why and blaming my client rather than telling the truth about her departure and that it was her choice to do so. How does all that make sense? Especially given her consistent efforts for being true to her soul?
Serving the truth of your being is not an easy road to take. Sometimes it appears that all your efforts are wrong and things are much worse for you. What you want doesn’t come easily, while you see that others are apparently thriving without anything much being implemented. We all struggle with this phenomenon. You know, the person who is stepping on others to get results and they are “winning” while you just scrape by. Or that person who has everything and complains all the time about how gnarly their life is. Tiresome and confusing… for sure.
But, wonder if I can shed some light on this. What do you need to do differently to gather up success in your life? Can I outline the steps and show you anything new in a worldly way? That’s not likely…
What is more possible is for me to show and tell you how the process of faith works. What kind of collective transition we are in right now and what’s actually really happening for soul warriors.
Firstly, if you’re reading this I’m assuming that you are, in fact, a SOUL WARRIOR. An Amazon going for the best possible outcome for your life. Secondly, I believe that a shift must occur in order for you to continue moving in the direction of your dreams without the fear and concern that can derail you so quickly.
Today… just do this. There’s a place on my new site where you can give me your name and email. Start there. Once you share that with me (and KNOW that it’s only for me to speak directly with you – I will not share your private information), you will begin to receive direct and free information about how to follow your soul’s calling, explanations as to what’s happening and how to make the positive shifts required for peace and success.
Start there… today is a good day for a new perspective. Let me help you, if I can.
Mother moon and daughter star… perfect companions.
The other day my oldest daughter ended up in the hospital with complications from her ongoing relationship with a faulty pancreas. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 19 years old & just beginning her life as an adult.
When this first began over 15 years ago and the attending doctor at the SF hospital told us why my girl was so sick, I remember feeling the deepest sense of powerlessness that I’ve ever felt. That says a lot, given what my life had already presented in the way of fucked up situations… It’s funny, but I don’t believe my insides have ever recovered. The distinct memory of it and the moment that I became fully present for what my girl would be facing for the rest of her life, is embedded into my cells. The sense of hopelessness was overpowering, as we looked out over the cityscape of San Francisco and held her close. We both just cried, hugged and determined to never give up. That she would remain healthy and strong, no matter what!
But, how do you resolve something that is out of your hands like that? How do you support your child to never give up, never lose hope, never stop being grateful for one more day?? Especially on those days when she’s so tired she can’t see straight, or when she just feels like shit, or the days when the pump doesn’t work or she gets an earful from the pharmacy clerk who says, “no insulin for you today! (silent message is ‘because of our bureaucratic fucking bullshit rules’)” and more bills, bills, bills to add to that stress – further complicating her condition….
You don’t ever resolve it – you learn that you have ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL in life. Not a speck. AND you encourage your child to be tough and strong, while you pray that you have the resiliency to do what you keep telling her to do.
This go round in the hospital was completely out of the realm of normal for us, in that I live in the Arizona desert and she lives on the tropical island of Maui. Add to that, no experience and therefore, confidence in the hospital. No connection to any of the caregivers or doctors and my own rock of a man, gone for his bi-yearly climbing excursion. Shit, shit, shit.
My beautiful daughter, Chelsea Briggen… and me.
My children are the center of my life. They take up the absolute core of what makes me tick and this daughter is connected to me, no less powerfully then her 5 other siblings – so my actual body being there wasn’t a huge issue for her care… (may have been harder for me, actually). All but 1 brother just happened to be on Maui as well as her father, so she had tons of support… Incredible support at that. With technology, we got to Facetime, text, call and use social media to connect – so even though it was gnarly rough – it was also really OK.
Tears were still flowing for me during those few days, as well as the emotions of anxiety, fear, worry, anger… you name it, I felt it. And my old friend, Powerlessness washed over me like a waterfall of grief.
Today is a different day – she’s home and slowly recovering. When I was all alone and during those intense hours of her admission into the hospital and waiting for the tests, etc. I would focus on this peaceful day (my now) and kept giving my fear up this way – (see – Kyle muttering over and over to herself) … “she is held in Source’s arms, the Goddess is with her, All is well… “. I just kept seeing her healthy, vital and living a hugely amazing life…
THAT’S HOW I GOT THROUGH IT & get through all the shit that life keeps throwing at me.
Remember this. It is not the stuff that happens that creates so much trauma, it’s how we approach it. It’s in your very best interest to develop a strong relationship with Source now, so when things are wonky, you have a solid foundation to stand on.
It’s not like I was all blissed out the day she went into the hospital – quite the contrary – No, I was terrified that I would have to lose my daughter and it was NOT an easy feeling to be with. So, instead of being scared I just took that day moment by moment, continuing my practice of gratitude and an ongoing dialog with my soul and Source.
It’s hard to remember how many times I went out to my tall, tall sky and wept frightened mama tears, imploring Source to keep her whole and alive… quite a few! Then I’d pull myself together and find anything I could to be grateful for.
To say that we experienced angels that day is an understatement. The prayers and love she received from her family, extended family and dear friends is and continues to be incredible. The fullness of this mother’s heart is indescribable. Love heals everything and faith gives us the courage to continue to love – no matter what.
No matter what it is that you are facing, open your heart to the gift there and just keep on loving.
We set up a campaign to help her pay her hospital bills and give her some time to recover. If you feel you can help her in this way, please do!! Share this link with others… Please and Thank You… Blessed Be.