storytelling: I love you, Floyd

storytelling: I love you, Floyd

Sunday, December 30, 2012.IMG_3758

I woke up at 9am like most Sundays, walked the doggies, and started getting ready to go to church.

My church was not of an organized religion, but a circle of friends – young and old.

We would get together every Sunday, normally at Gary and Betty’s house, eat brunch, meditate, read inspirational works and discuss life.

During brunch, Gary and Betty shared with us the details of their Buddhist retreat trip in Hawaii and passed out some neat gifts they got each of us. They gave me a license plate frame that says, “I’d rather BE HERE,” from Ram Dass’ Be Here Now book and teaching.

After delighting with the company of good friends and before going home, Betty shared a poem from a book she read the night before, a poem by Hafiz, titled My Eyes So Soft.

Afterward I headed home, feeling a sense of peace and excited to install my new license plate frame.

I pulled into my col-de-sac and parked. I opened the garage door and as it rolled up, saw Floyd and EviePoe waiting for me in the house through the screen door, wagging their tails, excited to see me. I went to greet my Boxer and little Shorkie, and let them out of the house. We went to the side of the house searching through the toolbox so I could change my license plate frame.

As I was tightening the second bolt and beginning to feel good about my declaration, EviePoe started barking at a person in a wheelchair across the street. She began to run.

I yelled at her, calling for her to come back, but she was determined to bark face to face with the man in the wheelchair. Fear swelled through every part of my being, not wanting her to get hit by a car, and I started to run without thinking.

Being the obedient dog that followed me everywhere, Floyd ran too. He was a little ahead of me, about 2 feet, and as soon as we reached busy Parkside Avenue, I heard the screeching of rubber on tar and before a breath could come from my lungs, the bumper of a lifted Toyota Tacoma hit Floyd’s face and both the front and back tires ran over his body.

I never screamed and cried so hard in my life.

EviePoe was freaked out by the whole thing she was growling at the people that came near Floyd and me. Too afraid to move him, I placed my face on his and cried, asking him to let go and assuring him that I will be okay. I could hear the driver of the Tacoma apologizing and calling 911, asking what to do.

I couldn’t move away from Floyd, I couldn’t be apart from him for one second, I knew he was trying with all his might to hold on. Blood began to come from his nose and mouth, he kept gasping.  He was drowning internally, and I couldn’t stop screaming.

Someone was shaking my shoulder and I looked up into the eyes of a woman. She told me her name is Camilla and she helped me snap out of my shock and get in action. She told me to get my car and take him to the nearest animal ER.

I grabbed EviePoe and ran to my house, quickly told my family of the situation as I ran back out. I hurriedly drove my car over to the middle of the street on Parkside Avenue, grabbed Floyd and carried him to the car. I placed 70 lbs of dead weight tenderly on the back seat, explaining to him what I was doing.

I can still feel the heat from his blood all over my shirt and neck.

I started to drive to the animal ER in Chula Vista, trying to see through my swollen, tear-filled eyes, keeping control of the wheel with my shaking, bloody hands. I reached my right hand to the back seat and held his paw.

“It’s okay Floyd,” I cried, “please boy, please let go.”  At the top of my lungs, I kept begging him to stop suffering.

I got to East H Street in Chula Vista and I felt a calmness surround me. I stopped screaming and gained a composed breath.

Still squeezing his paw, I cried to him softly full of love and tears, “I am so sorry it’s all my fault. I should have known better. I should have been better. I love you. I am a better person having had you in my life. I know why you’re holding on, and I promise I’ll be okay, boy.”

I kept repeating, “I love you. I love you. I love you.”

His choking was ceasing, and even though I was only connected to him from my right hand to his paw, I felt his release. He left.

The sky was filled with a dark haze of clouds and it began to sprinkle.

I reached the ER, ran out of my car, open the back door and carefully took his body out. A lady with a gurney met me and I placed his bloody, lifeless body on the cold steel of the gurney, and as we went inside, the sprinkle began to transform to rain.

Inside the ER he was pronounced dead.

They let me have a room with him and told me I can stay as long as I wanted. Camila and Keith, the driver of the Tacoma, were there, making sure I was alright and apologizing for my loss.

Keith was so grief-stricken and a huge amount of guilt was on him. I looked him in the eye and said, “I don’t blame you, it’s not your fault.”

Moments later my mom came running in, crying hysterically, holding the dead body of the best dog in the world, while I was trying to deal with the reality of the situation. During the next hour, my family members came to the ER to say goodbye to Floyd. He touched the heart of every single person in my family – and I was appreciative to see that.

While I stayed in the ER, my mom’s friend cleaned my entire car in the parking lot, making sure there was no blood left. Apparently, I left my car running with the keys in it, doors open.

It took me three hours to leave Floyd. By then it was late at night and the rain had stopped. My mom drove me home in my car. I felt lifeless, with the dried blood of my dog all over me. As we approached home, I saw that the rain had cleared the blood from the street.

I thanked God, knowing that the sight of Floyd’s blood on the concrete would have pulled me further into the storming depression that was forming.

I cleaned up and got into bed with EviePoe. I watched videos of Floyd on my phone and I let the tears run from my eyes. I could hear the words of Hafiz, from the poem that Betty shared today speaking to me:

Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly,
let it cut more deep.

Let it ferment and season you
as few human or even divine ingredients can.

Something missing in my heart tonight
has made my eyes so soft,
my voice so tender,
my need of God absolutely clear.

I let this experience season me – praying for the gift of time, knowing that our memories can fade.

I can still see everything replay through my mind, but as time passes, the details become less vivid and the sounds less sharp. The falling of my heart becomes less painful and my eyes become less cloudy.

I know that there was only a matter of feet between EviePoe, Floyd and me. It could have been any of us that reached that street at that same time. It could have been me. But it wasn’t, it was Floyd – and I know he saved me.

thank you for allowing me to learn this on my own

For the first time, I didn’t see myself when I looked in the mirror.

I saw your eyes.
But not the ones you look at me now.
I saw the eyes that I can still remember when I was a child,
when you looked down at me and held me in your arms
when you told me everything was going to be alright
when you told me you would keep me safe from harm.

I saw your life.
The pain you endured throughout your childhood
the pain you swore your children would never feel
the pain from failing on your promise.

I saw your suffering.
From the decisions you chose to make
for running away when you thought you couldn’t handle
the insecurities you allowed yourself to create
the lack of spirit you had and couldn’t share.

I saw your confidence.
In knowing that regardless of the pain that we went through
we were all alive
somehow we made it and we still survived.

It was at this moment I saw your love.
Something I yearned for all my life.
Hoping that each time I disappointed you that you would still love me.
Hoping that if I failed that you would still support me.
Hoping that when I fall that you would lift me and hold me.

Everything I hoped for you still didn’t give.
But when I saw your love for me,
I knew in your eyes.
That you knew all along I’d be okay
you knew all along of the fire inside of me.
Because you gave it to me.

All this time I thought you kept your spirit from me.
All this time I thought what little you had you were selfish to keep for yourself.

But I was wrong.
The moment I entered this world, you sacrificed it all for me.
You gave me all of you.
Every last bit of spirit you had left from living in this world.

At this very moment, I understood.
At this very moment, when I looked in the mirror, I understood why I saw you.

You gave me all of you.

All the goodness you had left to give
All the courage you had to use
All the passion you had left inside
All the desire and drive you had left to weather through this life.

You gave me all of you.
When I see me, I see you
And now I understand.

… and here we are, again.

Old friend, we meet again. Same game we’ve played for years, around you go and then positioned to the side of my head.

I know in the past I said we were through, and I love myself too much. But you know me best and you waited, loaded for when I came back.

Old friend, many times you believed that I had purpose and saved me from myself. But you warned me that the odds were increasing and the next time might be my last.

And now I am here.  Again. After meeting with you five times before. And we both know this is our last encounter, my want to live is no more.

Old friend, this time I am certain. There is no need to save me. It’s time we follow through with what we originally planned. I’ll leave this note beside us, to give my reasons why.  To apologize for putting myself before others, just this one time.

Old friend, let’s make this a quick one. I’m ready to get the hell out of here. I’m ready to end this life that I believe I was not destined for.

I’ll close my eyes and you’ll guide my hand to do the rest. You have always been good to me, and now you will give me what I’ve been asking for, an escape from myself for eternity.

I will still love you

There is nothing you can do to make me stop loving you.

We grew up in a very conditional home.  Negative criticisms upon us for what we did and what we did not do.  We witnessed the destruction of our parents, we experienced the loss of our childhood, we both had to grow up at a young age.

When they fought, we heard it.  When they would hurt each other, we felt it.  When people would judge our family, we stood up for it.  It was ours, we owned it, we lived and breathed it, it was our home.

Now we are older than they were when we were learning to survive.

After a long day, working a job, making dinner, watching TV – we always look into the mirror before we go to sleep.  Every time we do not like what we see.  Each day we tell ourselves that tomorrow will be different – we will learn to love ourselves, tomorrow.

Tomorrow comes, but we still do not like who we see.  Maybe because when we look at ourselves, we see our parents.  Maybe because when we look at ourselves, we remember where we come from.  Maybe because when we look at ourselves, just for one second, we believe all the horrible things anyone has ever said to us and about us.

We find ourselves in the footsteps of our parents.  We find ourselves fighting, creating bruises on the flesh of those we love.  We find ourselves diving into chemical escapes.  We find ourselves striving for an eternity of rest.

We make mistakes.  Hopefully one day we can forgive ourselves.  One day, we can look into the mirror and like what we see.  Just know, that even though I struggle to love myself, even though I struggle with who I see in that reflective glass, that no matter what you do, what life you have lived and who you want to become, I will still love you.

suffocation

I am tied – my hands, my ankles and my lips.  I am tied with an invisible piece of unbreakable material.  A material that has happiness at the core and wrapped around are the threads of affliction, clandestineness, consternation – all to protect the penetralia of longevity and bliss.  To support these threads are hidden wires of adamantine elements of chagrin, and covetousness.

I am unable to move – forward, backward and side-to-side.  I am unable to share the thought that emanates from my mind.  I cannot touch or fidget due to sensitivity and wounding matters.  My eyes continue to stay open, and yet I wish they were tied as well.  I witness happiness, cruelty, joy, suffering, laughter, pain… and my lips continue to stay sealed.  My hands continue to stay unstirred.  My feet remain in a locked position for dismay of falling.

I become an onlooker of aversions, of fruitlessness, of emptiness, of loss – and I am still binded.  Confused with no clarity in reach, I cannot make sense of thought and feeling.  The line which separates the right thing to do becomes blurred.  The defined person with millions of visible intricacies becomes obscurred.

Silence and separation overcome me.

To stop breathing, because you create a material so unbreakable that to destroy it, you must destroy your own happiness.

chelle floyd who?

Years ago, I studied self-identity in a philosophy class and became so perplexed by the subject that I chose to write my final on this particular issue.  Most may think that there isn’t much to write about, because this seems pretty easy, but when you think the way I think, nothing is easy.  Nothing is just “it is what it is.”  To say “it is what it is” is to give up on thought and pontification, and the search for something deeper in the cause and effect.  When I choose to say “it is what it is,” I am choosing to stop all thought, and quit the debate of what could be, just to end with the understanding of what is known is known to those that know, and let be.  This could not be the case with such a profound subject: who am I?

The argument in class was this: for your self to be identified, there must be a constant – what is this constant that keeps you entirely defined and identified as what you have been titled?  For example, I have been named Michelle Floyd by my parents, but to be called Michelle Floyd does not identify my self, or who I am.  It is just a title I have been given and go by in order to be referred to or called by.  Memories come and go, and get distorted with time and even erased due to head trauma or disease – so how can I be Michelle Floyd if someone who knew me once no longer does?  What if I forget my own identity – am I still “Michelle?”  We say that we still look the same, and that may be the continuum in our life to identify our self – but I look nothing as I did when I was born, and if you look at every school picture ranging from K through 12, I look familiar to each, but not exactly the same.  My skin changes, my eyes change, my hair, my height, my body structure… and it continues to change even though I am 30 years old.  Scientifically, our cells constantly are dying and reproducing, leaving no old cells for us to identify with… Within time, our body is filled with new cells at so many points of our life.  To be defined as to what role we have in our life is also false.  Today I may be Daughter, Wife, Girlfriend, Sister, Aunt, Niece – but tomorrow, I may not.

What then, makes me who I am?

Today, I have taken a look back on my life, and I see the shifts of my personality.  I see the changes in my reactions to others and I see a never-ending change in myself.  I see the steps I have taken to become a good person, because this was so important to me.  Then I see how I continue to attempt to be a good person, but so many events in life happen that begin to make me bitter and unattached.  Then I see how love conquers my life and brought inspiration, but such flagrantly opposite personalities aren’t always easily churned into butter.  Then I see reflection and the strive for everything better with the definitions I have given myself due to the struggle of living and obstacles faced with, but the lack of understanding and compromise hinders all.  I see so much when I look back, and at each moment I would be able to define who I was at that time, but when I try to use the same definition in my life today, it doesn’t stick.  I am not the same as I was in the past.  I remembered a short time ago, I was compassionate and attentive.  I remember being articulate and poised.  What happens to all the attributes we once possessed?  Do they just go away entirely, or is it still there – somewhere?

To ask myself, “Who am I?”  Is to answer, I am constant evolution.  I evolve in not one gradual, escalating line, but in tangents across a three-dimensional platform of something that is undefinable.

god, deity, supernatural creator, universe… whoever you are

I’ve believed in many forms of you…

I grew up calling you God.  I accepted You as the Father, Jesus as your son, the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary.  Since I learned how to talk, I’ve been praying to you, singing songs of Tafanlisayo, O Maria Namonagof, Mother Dearest, Here I am Lord, and the list continues.  I was taught to believe in your path for me at such a young age.  There were so many things I doubted about you and the way I learned about you, but my fate, my destiny, was not one of them until recently.

Through so many trials and tribulations, I had faith there were lessons to be learned so that I may fit into the role you created for me.  Belief in this helped me see the good in everything.  I did this so well, one of my positive attributes that all noticed was that I was always able to appreciate unfortunate circumstances or negative outcomes of matters of the heart or unexpected repercussions for actions that came from the kindness of the soul.

For so long I believed there was a reason for absolutely everything…

My parents had me at such a young age, they were children struggling to raise children – this gave me a passionate perspective of how I want to be as a parent.  Involuntarily, I was no longer a child at seven years old – the structure of responsibility as a parent and giving tools to children to help them make the right decisions is something I value intensely.  My father was in the military and we were constantly shifting our home for the first ten years of my life, I was unable to gain any sense of stability or see the need for it – as an adult, I can adapt to any environment or situation, I know how to observe people and their surroundings and be able to morph into it.  Dexter died at only seven and a half years old due to cardiac arrest – he came into my life and gave me hope and faith in all things beautiful, he taught me how to be a better human being and left me when he knew his job was done – he was an angel.  There are so many aspects of life that could have been considered damaging, but through you, I created positivity, because I believed there is a role I must play and this role is involved with something so much bigger in life.  I felt it – I felt that I have meaning and I must be involved with a destiny in which was ordained.

Life continues to happen, along with pain, suffering and happiness.  I began to analyze the argument for your existence and too many questions were unanswered.

Why should I learn from suffering?  What’s there to learn from another’s suffering?  What makes me so special that I am living and my cousin, Danielle, is not?  What is there to gain from exercising tough love and doing my best to not be an enabler with my sister?  Why must she suffer with addictions and self-infliction?  What am I supposed to learn from her?  Why should my brother break down when he is alone and without his daughter?  Why would an All-Loving God full of goodness and all things right let my brother suffer and doubt his absolute love of a father for his own daughter?  For a lesson to be learned?  Who is supposed to learn this lesson?  Why must I feel this pain? Why is that I am healthy and have a roof over my head and innocent, precious children are born into extreme living conditions and must fight for life?  What am I supposed to learn from that?  What am I supposed  to gather from kidnapping, murder, rape, alcoholism, abuse and neglect?  Death from freak accidents, drunk driving, cancer, diabetes, respiratory and heart failure?  What is the lesson with all this and how can I see the good in that?

So much pain and sorrow exists in all of our lives, and I question it at last…

I don’t need severe suffering and pain to learn.  If our purpose for existence is to learn the difference of good and evil, and we strive for the path of enlightenment and greatness, then why must you continue to inflict these unfortunate events onto us, especially if we are made in your image?  Why is suffering necessary to reach reason?  Blessed are those who believe – but I accepted you as true for 29 years, and when will I be blessed?  Will it finally happen after I leave my human body which I value intensely and treat as my temple?  Will it occur when the ultimate sacrifice is made and I let my body stop living in order to save another’s?  Is it all these acts of selflessness that so many of us do our utmost to attain, so that we may live in your kingdom?  What have you given me to make me believe you have a kingdom?  Why is it we condition ourselves to believe stories that have been edited throughout the years?

Whomever you are, if you made me in your image, why don’t you trust me?  Isn’t reciprocity something to be valued?  If I trusted in you and your existence for 29 years, why would you not do the same for me?  It is so morally wrong to continue to test people for your ego… if we say we believe in you and our actions show for it, then why don’t you take it for what it is?  Why must you create obstacles and life-changing events that would make any human created in your image, doubt you…  You have created a self-fulfilling prophecy, and for whose gain?  Without followers you do not subsist and without God we do not flourish.  Why do you relentlessly give us reason to make you non-existent?

I am being faced with such a heartbreaking revelation – I want to pray, but who do I pray to?  For 29 years, prayer has brought me so close to you and has become a meditation to bring lucidity and conviction to my life.  I allowed it to bring clarity into my mind, my soul and my being.  Now that you have at last won your argument and have made me doubt your existence, I am left without prayer.  You have finally inflicted your absolute pain unto me, the reality that you do not exist and I don’t have you.  So now I ask, why have you forsaken me?  Why have you deceived me?  Why would you allow so many to follow you and trust in your greatness when you are unable to provide.  The pain and sense of being lost with no precision in mind is worse than any wound a human could ever wreak unto to me.

For so many years, I have relied on you as support.  I now realize that I must believe in this reality created for us on Earth, and I must rely on only myself for guidance.  I will trust myself, and know that I will live with all things good in mind.  I will become for myself what you pretended to be.

You are the ultimate deception.