Mary Oliver

I found a poet I love, while looking at her poems I found this one and cried.  

The Journey

One day you finally knew 
what you had to do, and began, 
though the voices around you 
kept shouting 
their bad advice-
though the whole house 
began to tremble 
and you felt the old tug 
at your ankles. 
“Mend my life!” 
each voice cried. 
But you didn’t stop. 
You knew what you had to do, 
though the wind pried 
with its stiff fingers 
at the very foundations, though their melancholy 
was terrible. 
It was already late 
enough, and a wild night, 
and the road full of fallen branches and stones. 
but little by little, 
as you left their voices behind, 
the stars began to burn 
through the sheets of clouds, 
and there was a new voice 
which you slowly 
recognized as your own, 
that kept you company 
as you strode deeper and deeper 
into the world, 
determined to do 
the only thing you could do-
determined to save 
the only life you could save.

I went to a Christian festival

that’s right that’s the headliner.  so I’ll repeat it.  I went to a Christian festival. 

Wild Goose.  I got to spend maybe 3 hrs there …. I heard one speaker almost all the way and she has already inspired me.  I saw my friend David Lamotte who also was singing, talking and healing.  🙂  Besides that I knew no one.  The kids were not impressed.  I was.  I wish we would have camped but I’m ok with not.  but camping would have been awesome.  I got my Will back from camp and he wants to just be home.  The kids were grumpy and a pain.  I was annoyed.  but this happens, it was not much better at the LEAF festival.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with them.  I’m trying to have a life here kids and we have had opportunities and we need to live it.  Oh well… . the camping would have helped.   I saw all sorts of people, everyone is nice, it’s safe.  It’s not big.  I liked it.  

goodness was there and so was I.  


A few months ago I started my search for camps.  I ran into someone from my work past/ a parent and I had to tell her our story.  of what happened.  (john)  Her son was Anna’s best friend in preschool and over time, because of the kids we got to be friends and when she found out about John she was amazing.  Anyway by poking around and looking, Anna go into an awesome Theater camp and Will got into a boys camp.  The boys camp was for 2 weeks. i repeat…. 2 weeks….  granted he is 15 min away but wow oh wow.  It’s all boys, everyone sang it’s praises.  He went through phases of kinda wanting to go, to no and then kinda and then by advise of my therapist and the director, I said, you are going.  I want Will to have guys.  I want him to be a boy.  He is surrounded by us ladies and well, when we get around a male, he sits by them.  I don’t even know if he knows he does this.  My brother has been great but he has 2 boys and travels a lot.  My dad is older.  that’s it.  No one else is close by that has really said, hey I know that Will needs someone.  Will needs someone.  He needs a guy.  I have to admit, I had secret fantasies of the camp director…. (whoa everyone stand down.  ) just kidding.  secret fantasies of the director just adopting will.  or Will’s counselor.  The neighbor men have been nice, but no one has said.  HEY, WILL NEEDS A GUY. My brother has been great and they have some plans for the future but I have to find a way for Will to have guys more often.  I’m looking at the boy scouts and making sure he gets there next year but I always get pissed offf at their stupid gay issues.  (not stupid, i just love gay boys).  not in a weird way.  🙂  

anyway  tomorrow I pick him up.  I hope he does not hate me.  I hope it went well.  I hope he braved through.  I hope he remembers this one day and says hey mom, it was ok and i’m better for it.   

this very nice camp was expensive and we did not have to pay a thing.  He never would have had this unless his dad died.  So if John is gone, I will seek and find and make whatever I can happen for my kids to make other experiences.  Thanks Camp!  Thanks for being part of goodness to us.  

the organization fairy called mary is coming

Friends- anyone – strangers- kids- cousins-


Ashley called an organization wizard.  her name is Mary, I told her I don’t do well with someone looking at me strange, like, “why did you do that?”

I’ll post a pic of my office area so there can be a before.  then I’ll do an after?  

Also I’m going to start our out west blog and then kaegan and Will can both log on and write, even ANNA!  I think it will be a great way to do some writing.  I think it will be fun.  fun is what we need to be about.  ok well here is to organizing.  🙂


8 months


fucking months.

i’m sitting here with like my 5th glass of wine.  alone.

 our 2 daughters near me. our son at camp.  John   8 months since I have laid eyes on you.  i’m drinking the same red wine I was that night.  I’ll never forget the 23 and the 24th.  23 was the last time we truly conversed and we laughed together.  thank god.  you came to bed.  I can say our last night we were together.  you got sick.  you got really sick.  I don’t know why it happened, I don’t know how, what , why .   I know I should have had you in the ER sooner.  I fucked up and I blame me.  you would be alive if it was not for me.  I will live with this.  I”m so sorry.  our kids miss you so much.  i do too.  I can’t wait to see you again.  you were an awesome best friend and husband and father.   I have learned so much since about myself, our children, about friends and family.  a lesson I don’t want to know.  I will take our love and make our babies blossom and know love.  they are doing it my love, they are doing it.  you gave them amazing roots and fertilizer.  I just have to tend.  I can do that.  Oh John I miss you so much.  prayers john, prayers are there.  I”m doing it. I will do it.  i love you. 

goodness of spirit of holy

Well, that’s kinda wrong already.  I took Will to camp for 2 weeks and well that has been a bit stressful but they report he is ok.  I feel like I trust them.  🙂  I hope he is ok, I hope he laughs and does things he never has done. I hope he is a boy. I hope a guy pays attention to him.  I hope he feels a hole filling.  spirit entering the soul.  

Kaegan had band camp and really enjoyed herself.

anna and I well…. we kinda took everyone everywhere, I read a lot, wrote a lot for grad school.  Anna was bored some.  so i went out an bought her some new stuff.  Like she really needed that but as I unwind into this new life, I’m sure things will get easier.  This week was trying to do something with the house.  I’m happy to report that I did make some progress.  

it was quiet.  

a friend that had kinda been MIA popped up, I decided to just take it as it was and just hang.  I gave him a present that I had ordered to help him with his healing.  He cried.  we enjoyed a breakfast with Anna and then he kinda crashed so we went home .  I invited him to come to kaegan’s concert.  He seemed game and happy to go.  later I regretted asking him.  I think I want Kaegan to feel like she has a crowd to watch her.  I thought she would feel special if he watched her.  she kinda rolled her eyes at me.  I wish i was like her more.  long story short he bailed on us literally a half hour before.  I was crushed.  we enjoyed the concert, Always Anna and I together.  We are the crowd.  i was so mad at my friend.  I don’t like to be let down but don’t do it to my kids.  Kaegan said she did not think he would come.  I tried to think about if it was because it was him – what if it had been another one of my friends?  Well actually I have invited some of my friends but I kinda don’t want to make them do this.  but i wish they would.  I wish one of my friends knew how hard it is to be alone in the crowd.  My family did come up to her band concert but not the choir or soccer games.  

but it’s just going to be like this.  this is what life is going to be like.

Just the kids and I.  sometimes it really sucks.  Like thurs it really sucked.  i cried all day. friday i woke talked to my friend that then later let me down.  I decided to walk.  ouch.  back not likey.  sign…… 

someone said, i’m worried about you not having your work support.  well. ummm guess what.  that support was just for a few minutes. I got several hugs but besides that.  my support is gone.  I’ve learned that I have to put myself first.  that’s all that matters and I mean myself and kids.  

When I do, then goodness does come.  quietly, but it slowly circles us.  I was reading about the Holy Spriit and it being goodness.  I thought, wow.  that’s what I have been feeling since John died.  I have felt the Holy Spirit.  It seems strange for me to say this and even blog about this but lately I’ve been thinking bout this.  I tried to tell another friend about it this morning but I”m not sure he bought it.  

but lately, I like that Holy Spirit.  I want to be with it more.  My time comes when goodness is flowing.  Or following a job all the way through.  keep going.  put the clothes away.  waaaaahahhhhh you feel good because your room feels good.   go ahead, vacuum and mop.  it will look and smell good.  Go ahead and read that chapter and take your time.  highlight, think and reflect.  goodness. 

Go to church.  wait what did I type???  what?  yep.  i wrote that.  this church i’m going to, had people that are nice.  

we went to bible school training for kaegan and I met another nice lady that goes to our church and a cute kid. Kaegan and Anna start Bible school next week.  I’m excited because they are excited.  goodness.  

i’m going to wild goose.  I have curiosity.  I hope it’s going to be good.  I hope I don’t get disappointed.  I wanted to go and well. I got a go for it.  We just have to pick up Will in the middle of it.  I think though, because this is about goodness then surely I can’t get hurt.  

church today felt so good.  I prayed.  I prayed for others.  I prayed.  I loved the sermon of Jesus asking me .. .what can I do for you?

Jesus, what you could do for me would be to help me not feel so broken.  Jesus, I’m so tired of being so damn lonely.  I thought what would Jesus do for me.  Part of me thought that he would say, if you trust me and listen to me, you will not have that.  I wonder though….  I have to say that when I met John, he was so nice and no games were played.  we were ourselves and we were kind to one another.  

toward the end.. yeah, we forgot but i miss him anyway.  

Jesus, you could hold me.  You could make me not ache for a male to hold me to make me feel loved.  Jesus you could give me a friend that shows up and loves me and my kids often.  

oh crap now i’m crying.  

I’m trying Jesus.  I”m trying more.  i’m doing a bit better.  Did you know that if you buy yourself some clothes and get your feet rubbed and toes painted. it makes you shave your legs?  Did you know if you shave your legs you put lotion on.  Lotion makes you smell nice.  If you feel better then you want to take a walk.  if you walk you celebrate that you walk and you drink some water.  see goodness =more goodness.  

Kaegan is talking to me more, she laughs more.  she is happier.  

Anna and I giggle more together.  She is going to remember one strong momma.  

Will is going to remember camp.  

We will talk still about John and laugh.  We miss you John so much but thanks for sending Jesus to bring me some goodness.  

well plan b has begun

I have worked since I was 18.  I’m going to count my job at Radford University as work study as my job.  i started contributing to social security.  Since then I’ve had a job.  well.  today was the last day of a job.  I mean I’ll kinda have one for a year as a graduate assistant but now.  …. i’m officially unemployed.  I even got on the same day I was done the info about next  year.  I will make ….. get ready….. $6000.00 next year.  🙂   

oh gosh I hope this works.  I hope I can do this.  I’m cutting off my friends I had.  well not really but I literally don’t get to see my best friends everyday anymore.   

Everyone also finished school today.  Everyone is bigger.  Hello 8th grader, Hello 6th grader, hello 2nd grader.  wow.

and He is not here.  

It’s been awhile since I”ve really cried.  Maybe a week so that feel long, maybe a bit longer.  I’ve had a bit of happy lately.  new friends, so much going on, that I’m not submerged in grief.  but tonight, i’m all alone again.  it’s very very quiet.  it sucks.  

but I’m going to be ok. 

Lately I”ve been trying to recognize how maybe being alone is better.  like I don’t have to shave, or I don’t have to worry how I look.  I can eat whatever I want.  I can do whatever I want.  All that matters is what i’m happy with.  that and the kids. 

tonight Kaegan had a friend over and they went to the movies and out to eat and I took the girl home.  I did it.  I was present in mind for Kaegan.  I did the mom thing.  Sunday I’ll take Will to camp and I’ll be mom and dad.  

it’s almost father’s day, I’l probably write more but I’m going to cut out social media stuff for several days so I don’t have to see it.  I can’t deal with it.  It’s ripping my heart out.  literally ripping my heart out of my chest and making me watch my kids suffer.  i fucking hate grief I hate not having John.  

but …. i’m ok.  i’m going to keep on, keeping on.

Plan B has begun!

Started on Plan B yesterday.  School is back in session!  I started 2 classes.  my financial Aid is fucked up and I pray to God it works out otherwise, I know a professor who is going to kick my ass.  

So one class is literacy.  Here is my introduction.  I really enjoyed writing it.  

Who I am

 Actions for ‘Who I am’

Created by Mary Parks on Jun 3, 2014 5:47 AM

Did anyone catch that, I switched the word order.

I do that all the time and I don’t realize it. :O

Who Am I.  I am Ashley, but it says Mary but it’s just a small issue between my Mother and I and her mission to torture me for the rest of my life.  I also choose to do this to my oldest child.

I am mother to 3.  Mary Kaegan is 13, Will is 10 and Anna is 7.  The Great Dane is 2.  The Cats are….(there are 3). We also have 2 Madagascar Hissing cockroaches.  I kid you not.

Many of you know from being in class with me before but I just lost my husband of 14 years last October suddenly and well….. yeah, it’s really whacked me out.  but I’m still standing.  (He left me his cockroaches)  He was a teacher also and we met at Radford University where he was an elem ed major and I was Human dev/early childhood.  I learned a lot from him about how I would never go into public school again and he learned how to read, We’re going on a Bear Hunt, from me.  🙂

I just quit my job.  🙂  I was employed at a program in Asheville, called Verner- Center for Early Learning.  I was there 3.5  years and before that I was in Virginia at a Head Start program.  I was the Child Development Specialist for both programs/same title. I have also taught Head Start, worked as a literacy aide for Kindergarten, worked in several child care centers and after school program.  

I quit because I want to be with my 3 children more during this time AND I want to finish my master’s and probably start my Phd.  I will be a GA this Fall with Dr. Broderick.  

I love love love to read.  I have a book case for non fiction, I have a book case for fiction and I have a book case just for my collection of children’s books.  I have a nook.  I think that I have decided I do like a book to hold as opposed to the Nook.  

I am a speed reader, no seriously I am.  

I am constantly amazed at how the literacy world and reading and how we should do it constantly changes or contradicts itself.  I cannot wait to see what I learn in this class.  I can’t wait to dialogue with you all again.