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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Time Has a Way


I woke up this morning reflecting on the fact that time has a way of healing all wounds - well, maybe not all wounds and not all the time.  When the wounds concern your children, whether they are self-inflicted wounds, inflicted by your children, or inflicted by others - they still hurt.  There is always a grieving process.

In that process, there is always some lowlife out in the world who wants to rub your nose in it, make you hurt more, kick you while you're down.  Yes, there are some seriously sick individuals out in the world as I have unfortunately come to learn as a result of having this online journal.


I've had one person who has been getting a thrill out of coming to my site, reading my stories, and either leaving a nasty comment, or sending me a nasty email.  You know who you are.  I've had remarks like:

"We all know Kathleen is a drug addict and our tax dollars are paying for her and her son." 

Not on both points.

"Why don't you ever talk about Kimberly?  

None of your damn business.


"How come you never write about Kimberly? Did you run her off too?"

Again, None of your damn business, and when I'm ready to talk about Kimberly - the daughter I lost 21 years ago - I will.  That is not your place or anyone's place to ask such a question.  This is my life story.  If you don't like it, then get off my journal and go berate some other blogger.  I've done nothing to hurt you, but you are certainly doing your best to annoy the hell out of me.  Fine.  If you get your sick kicks out of leaving nasty comments and sending nasty emails to people who share their life story - the good, the bad, and the difficult side of life, then you should get some serious help.  Sounds to me like you have some serious issues of your own.


"You are only trying to be like the Pioneer Woman."

That's not even possible.  First of all, I don't live on a ranch.  Secondly, my blog isn't about everything that is good in life, nor am I as funny as Ree, although I wish I had her humorous wit more often.  Thirdly, I write about what is really on my mind, and what is "really" going on in my life.  Not that Ree doesn't, but Ree is living what I consider to be every woman's dream - with a ranch, a stud for a husband, beautiful children, horses, cows, bulls, and lots of financial resources at her disposal, for anything she wants to do including wonderful giveaways and contests on her blog.  Other than the beautiful children and the stud for a husband, I don't claim to have anything else.  Ree is always happy and funny.  I think it's great reading because her stories take my mind off of my own stories.  However, her stories do not reflect real life - at least not for most people.  Fortunately for me, most of my stories are happy ones, fortunately for you, I suppose, I choose to share all the stories - even the difficult ones that helped to shape the person I am today.


This blog was never intended to draw any attention from anyone other than family and friends from coast-to-coast who enjoy keeping up with our going's on.  My online journey began with ebay, grew to be an online baby boutique for 2 years that I successfully grew and sold, and then an online site to display and sell my artwork emerged from that.  Wanting to give back to the visual arts community, I created Red Easel, but struggled with having a regular story to share, so I added a gallery of incredible artists, information and resources for artists, and more.  Because I am a perpetual writer, I wanted to share my life experiences with my family and friends and so began "Vaughn Family Traditions," but I thought the name sounded corny, and so I tried "Boomerbaloo" for about 2 months, and didn't like that either.  One morning while in a creative mood, and eating raisin toast, I decided to start my personal blog from scratch and create a site that was about "everything" going on in my life, so I merged the stories from the two other blogs into "Raisin Toast" and here we are almost a year later.  


I just want to say that I have met some lovely people during this year's journey.  It has been a roller coaster ride, but most of my life is just that - a roller coaster ride.  Personally, I love roller coasters and prefer them to the predictable ferris wheel any day. 

There have been a number of times I have thought about ending this online journey, but then I always have something to write about - like right now - and I love taking the pictures and sharing the stories with my family and friends - old and new friends. 


I knew I had a choice when I started this blog, I can tell the truth or I can sugar coat the truth.  I can talk about real life or I can write imaginary stories.  I can share my true thoughts or I can appeal to my readers and tell you what you may want to hear.  There is always a choice to make when one starts an online journal or blog - I chose to tell my life story, to tell the truth as I see it, to talk about real life, and to share my true thoughts.  I chose to build that story around pictures of my family from years gone by and days of old to present day.  I made a decision that no matter how difficult this journey, I would be open and honest about my life experiences, including the ones I am not proud of.  And, that in my journey, I would have to accept that there will be people out there who will want to be the critic, be ugly, and kick me when they can.  


I decided that I would be true to myself by telling the stories from my eyes and my perspective.  There are always 3 sides to every story - My side, Your side, and the Truth.  Whatever that truth may be, only God knows.  I am only sharing my side of the story as I see it.  I've been wrong before.  I'm human.  I will say, though, that I have tried to humble myself to my past mistakes and learn by them.  I have tried to understand the underlying lesson in all of my life's journeys.  I have tried to sit in the front seat of every roller coaster ride with my hands and my head held high, and my faith on a wing and a prayer, knowing that there will be the climb, the fall, the loops, and the bumps that nearly dislocate my spine.  


I also realized that there were benefits to having this online journal.  A huge benefit - especially to my family, because if anything were to happen to me and my life were to end, my children and my family would have this piece of me that they could take with them if they desired.  They would know not only who I am, but what I loved to do, what I loved to read, what I was passionate about, and what scared the hell out of me.  They would know how I became the person they grew to know in life.  They would also know who my mother was, and my father, and my grandparents.  They would be able to read my stories and share them if they like. They would see first hand what brought me joy and what brought me to my knees.


Unfortunately, there are those who enjoy seeing that I am brought to my knees and held there.  That does not seem like a valued life calling to me.  Yet, there are entire blogs and magazines devoted to tearing people down, kicking them in the teeth, and serving them up for dinner to the hyenas.  Satan is everywhere, and believe me, he is alive and well on the internet.


Bottom line, nobody "has" to read my blog.  It is just my story on this journey through life.  Some parts of that journey are more difficult than others, but writing is cathartic for me - and so I write.  That is also why I love reading blogs - the stories of life, love, and even cow manure.  There are some blogs that are so positive and everything in life is great (like Ree at the Pioneer Woman) that it almost doesn't seem real.  Yet, I am happy for her.  She has lived a gifted life and continues to live a gifted life.  She is happy, beautiful, funny, and blessed beyond most.  Ree has every reason in the world to share her joys on her blog.  She is so happy, in fact, that she would otherwise probably explode if she couldn't get it all out on a daily basis.  We should all be so blessed.  So instead, we live vicariously through her by trudging through the cow manure and the recipes of her life with her.


There are blogs that are sad too - about the loss of a child, or the loss of a job.  There are blogs about living with cancer and living with a loved one with cancer.  There are a million mommy blogs out there, including mine, although I don't know that I would call mine a mommy blog.  It is more a life blog, as I share everything in my life that surrounds me from my painting to my photography, my children and the homeschooling experience, my terrible cooking to my friend Beth's wonderful cooking, my Big Bear's desire to get a good job to his desire to be a true farmer.  I share everything from injured toes to injured hearts.  The good days, the bad days, and all the days in between.


I suspect there will always be someone out there who will want to tear me down, kick me hard, and make it their life mission to destroy me on this journey.  It is a sad reality that there are people like this.  Still, for that person, do what you feel you must do to get your kicks in life.  I suppose that tearing people down is part of your life journey.  I'm not going anywhere - because this is my life story and I am writing it for my family first and foremost.  Secondly, I don't owe you anything, including an explanation, but this was on my mind this morning and so I write ... it gives me comfort, and it is the best course I know to having peace of mind.  I hope you find some of your own someday.

Note: Cyberstalking is a crime and if it continues, I have saved every email and every comment, every IP Address, and every fake and real email address, that I will gladly turn over to the authorities.  So, please find another hobby. 

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